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For decades, successive Australian governments have recognised that Asia holds the key to our nation’s economic prosperity and security. Australia has built up massive trading relationships with Asian countries, invested hugely in diplomatic relationships in the region (our largest embassy is in Jakarta rather than Washington) and developed major programs to encourage educational and cultural ties. Federal governments routinely proclaim the importance of Asia to Australia’s future, most recently in the 2016 defence and 2017 foreign policy white papers.
Yet, in the midst of a global pandemic that originated in the region, and at a time when China’s rise is shaking geopolitical certainties throughout the world, one of our major national institutions has decided to turn away from Asia. Ironically, the same institution was a pioneer of Asian engagement.
Read the rest of Professor Aspinall’s full article here
Edward Aspinall is a Professor at the Department of Political and Social Change.
Image sourced from John on Flickr.