Nov 27, 2017

White paper exposes the failure of Australia’s foreign policy

The recently released foreign policy white paper is an unusual mix of diagnostic science and conservative reluctance to name the diagnosis.

Professor Damien Kingsbury — <em>Crikey</em> international affairs commentator

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

It is unsurprising that Australia’s 2017 foreign policy white paper says little of direct substance, and is cautious about change. The world around us is rapidly changing and increasingly uncertain, and our foreign policy boffins generally don’t like unpredictability. But that’s what they have alluded to, without providing a detailed way forward.

As the white paper notes, China is a growing superpower, in our region and in the world, in both economic and strategic terms. The paper also notes that these economic and strategic interests are linked. Neither of these facts is exactly a newsflash.

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