China in Australia's strategic policy, 2007–2021: The diminishing returns of hedging in an era of great power competition?
Australia has always been sensitive to shifts in the balance of power both globally and within its own region, the Asia Pacific. This concern has been amplified over the past decade due to the parallel rise of China and the relative decline of the United States. These realities have framed an ongoing debate in Australia about whether continued reliance on the U.S. alliance for security is either feasible or prudent. This chapter presents two major arguments.
Putting the BRI in perspective: History, hegemony and geoeconomics
If successfully realised, the Belt and Road Initiative will be the most ambitious and expansive developmental project the world has ever seen. It is not, however, unprecedented. In the aftermath of the Second World War the United States developed what was then an equally unprecedented and ambitious initiative designed to simultaneously facilitate the (re)development of some of the world’s key economies and reinforce its own position as the leader of the western world. Both the American Marshall Plan and China’s BRI are important expressions of geoeconomic influence and power.
Demystifying Australia-China trade tensions
In 2020 Australia’s political relations with China plumbed new depths. Trade and other economic ties were also hit with disruption. Contributing to this deterioration, and complicating an accurate assessment of the consequences, has been a raft of misunderstandings. This article demystifies the bilateral trade tensions by exposing the deeper drivers of political friction, providing a critical assessment of the vulnerability of the Australian economy, and placing the current state of Australia’s relations with China in a comparative regional perspective.
Canberra, we have a problem: Interpreting shifting American grand strategy preferences in an era of Sino–US rivalry
President Joe Biden's assertion that 'America is back' and will embrace 'strategic competition' with the People's Republic of China has been welcomed in Australia as a sign that the United States is returning to a 'normal' grand strategy after the turbulence of the Trump administration. This article argues, however, that this is a problematic assumption as it ignores the question of how American grand strategy choices are made and articulated.
Assessing the risks from Australia’s economic exposure to China
This paper suggests Australia’s economic exposure to China creates three distinct risks: a Chinese growth shock that comes with a ‘hard landing’, a structural shift towards less import and natural resources–intensive Chinese growth, and the Chinese Government disrupting trade ties for coercive purposes. With external demand for Australia’s goods and services largely exogenous, the scope to mitigate these risks by reducing exposure to China, without resorting to costly market intervention, is limited. At the same time, the probability and scale of each risk should not be overstated.
Review of 'Our exceptional friend: Australia’s fatal alliance with the United States,' by Emma Shortis
Currently, the US alliance has a prominence in national debate arguably comparable only to the times of the Vietnam and 2003 Iraq wars. Yet for 20 years, debates over the Anzac legend have been entwined in discussions of the alliance and vice versa. At the same time, successive Australian governments have presided over institutional enhancements to the alliance.
Australia–China relations through the frame of trade
Since 2017, the political and diplomatic relationship between Australia and China has seen better days; notably, in that, no Australian Prime Minister has been invited to China since 2016. Yet despite these tensions, the economic relationship remains strong. The traditional mainstay of the trading relationship (natural resources for manufactured goods) remains solid and has been joined by an increasing flow of services (tourism, education, and logistics).
COVID-19 and global supply chain configuration: Economic and emissions impacts of Australia-China trade disruptions
Economic shocks from COVID-19, coupled with ongoing US-China tensions, have raised debates around supply chain (or global value chain) organisation, with China at the centre of the storm. However, quantitative studies that consider the global and economy-wide impacts of rerouting supply chains are limited. This study examines the economic and emissions impacts of reorganising supply chains, using Australia-China trade as an example. It augments the Hypothetical Extraction Method by replacing traditional Input-Output analysis with a Computable General Equilibrium analysis.
The potential of energy cooperation between China and Australia under the Belt and Road Initiative
While there is a proliferation of studies on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), there is a gap in the literature in terms of an exploration of the costs and benefits from the perspective of the energy sector, in both the areas of sectoral development and energy transition. This paper uses Australia as a case study. The paper is the first to quantify the impact of the BRI in the energy sector, and the analysis informs the current debates on the BRI in Australia.
The Chinese economy: crisis, control, recovery, refocus
This book chapter recaps and unpacks a year of crisis, control, recovery and refocus in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) economy, drawing implications for the global economy and Australia.