Response to Michael Wesley’s “Beijing Calling” Image Credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Response to Michael Wesley’s “Beijing Calling”


In tracing the evolution of Australia’s loosening of fraternal ties with the United Kingdom during the sunset years of Empire through the genesis of its alliance with the United States to the present, Michael Wesley illustrates the adage in diplomacy that there are no permanent friends, just permanent interests. Further, serving those interests depends on changing geopolitical and economic dynamics.

The thrust of his piece is that “the new challenge of Asia for Australia and the United States is not military but diplomatic and developmental”. Arguably, given China’s emphasis on defence spending and its increasingly sophisticated militarisation of the South China Sea, including its vigilance in confronting freedom-of-navigation operations in the area, the military imperative of the Australia–US alliance remains as important as ever.

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