Former ambassador to China Geoff Raby (left) and Centre for Independent Studies Executive Director Tom Switzer (right) speak with Janine Perrett (Image: Provided)

Australia is very much on its own in the Asia-Pacific region and will have to devise much more authentic foreign policy than it has for many decades.

That's the blunt verdict of former Australian ambassador to China Geoff Raby, speaking last night alongside Centre for Independent Studies executive director Tom Switzer in a talk hosted by Crikey columnist Janine Perrett for Crikey Inside Access subscribers

The overriding theme of the talk was how Australia navigates its relationships with, as Switzer put it, an increasingly assertive China -- Australia’s key trade partner -- and an increasingly erratic United States -- Australia’s most important security ally.