analysis on Australia’s economic, strategic and political relations on foreign policies towards them


You need to write a critical review of the arguments presented by both of the authors for each of these 4 weeks.  Your review must focus on how the authors’ arguments relate to the political realities of Australia’s position in the Asia Pacific region.  You should focus your analysis on Australia’s economic, strategic and political relations with these nations and how each author assesses the effectiveness of Australia’s foreign policies towards them.  Each of your critical reviews should be around 350-400 words.


Week 5 Critical Review Australia and Japan

Satake, T., 2015, Why a strong Japan-Australia relationship mattersEast Asia Forum

Ascione, B., 2018, Australia-Japan defence cooperation missing the big pictureEast Asia Forum

Satake looks at the Australian ties with other countries in the Asia Pacific region, one of them being its ties with japan. In his article, the author states that the ties between Australia and Japan have become stronger especially in terms of security. The two countries have over the years been working together in various contexts including building of regional institutions and in peacekeeping missions. In recent years this has further been strengthened by the inclusion of more trilateral and bilateral cooperation in defense similar to that of the United States and Australia. This inclusion saw the two countries conduct military exercises together such as tactical maneuvers, anti-submarine warfare, and combat operations. It has also seen sharing of information in cyberspace and space, and technology in defense.  The link between the two countries was further strengthened when two Prime Ministers who were conservatives in both countries were sworn in. Both Prime Ministers put more emphasis on the submarine project in Australia and have overseen joint exercises of the defense forces of the two countries. This is something that has been received with mixed reactions within the two countries and across the Asian region (Satake). Ascione looks at the wider picture of the Australian and Japan defense partnerships. He looks at the meeting between the two prime ministers of the two countries, in order to address insecurities posed by North Korea. It is in this meeting that the significance of security ties between the two countries was reiterated in order to take some stringent measures towards North Korea. There was also a concern on the relations with the United States since the election of Trump as President. Japan has been trying to grow its security allies beyond the US with countries such France and the United Kingdom of NATO, Southeast Asian countries, and India. This effort by Japan would also affect Australia due to their strong defense ties.

Week 6 Critical Review Australia and China

Text book Chapter 8. ANZUS and the Rise of China, Davison, R., and Khan, S.


Australia has enjoyed security partnership with the United States and New Zealand in an agreement known as the ANZUS Alliance over the years. This has be a dominant and enduring component of the country’s outlook of its national security. This has however seen an unprecedented rise of China, which has posed the question if ANZUS is still a viable option for Australia. Hence, the strengthening of the security ties with Japan, which also poses a threat to the China and Australia relations. It is clear that Australia should rethink its security partnerships especially with countries in the Asian Pacific region, and come with a strategy that would be favorable for its people and government (Khan & Davison). As the Japanese welcome this cooperation with open arms, many in Australia including policymakers, politicians, and experts, have tabled their concerned. They state that there are potential costs and risks associated with it towards the Australian government. There is also fear of involvement in Sino-Japanese crisis in the future. More so, the tie would affect negatively the relations between China and Australia. There also the risk that there could be a division of Asia into armed alliances that are mutually hostile. Such a scenario would force Australia to choose between China and Japan. Japan and Australia’s security ties have been facing some challenges the most significant one being losing out on the contract of submarines by France. The submarines were to be given to Australia who had a binding contract with Japan over the use of the subs for at least 40 years of the submarines’ lifespan. This was seen as a strategy of containing China, which brought about concerns that ended up costing Japan the contract. More so, the Australia and Japan security partnership would have been strengthened in terms of maritime security in the Asia Pacific. This was also a tricky move by Australia as it would have been tied to the interests of the US and Japan in containing China, and their war against North Korea.

Week 7 Critical Review Australia and India

Curran, J., 2017, Where India Fits in an activist Australian foreign policyLowy Interpreter

Sherrell, H., 2017, The India-Australia FTA’s impossible road ahead, East Asia Forum

Curran looks at the way Japan has been handling its security operations due to the increased threat surrounding it. He states that Japan has managed to maintain its security cooperation with the United States, and has further acquired partnership with India and has strengthened this with Australia. This seems like a win-win situation for Japan which has managed to win over democracies that are like minded compared to China. But remember, Japan’s Defense Forces work closely with those of Australia and its security partnerships largely affects both Defense Forces (Curran, 2017). As a result of the failed signing of the submarine contract, Japan and Australia pushed for the signing of a contract that would call for exchange training of the military personnel known as the Reciprocal Access Agreement. This would form a foundation of a military alliance that is more formal. This was aimed at strengthening security in the region especially with the rise of China and aggression from North Korea. However, the meeting was not as fruitful as one would have thought, as the Agreement was left hanging with no clear timelines as to when it will be sorted out. However, the leaders maintained that collaboration with the international community was indispensable and which included China. Clearly, it is not advisable to abandon an alliance that has lasted over sixty years, which is the Australia and United States Alliance. This partnership has endured as there is no divergence with regard to security, economic, or foreign policy within it. The current quadrilateral security dialogue has raised suspicions that it is aimed at containing China. Thus, Australia should try and avoid this frame. The need right now is for Japan and Australia to focus on keeping their cooperation with the US, and encourage its involvement in Asia, and at the same time strengthen their collaboration with china. By doing this, they will maintain their core objective of keeping the region a rules-based order.



Week 9 Critical Review Australia and Indonesia

Text book Chapter 9. Relations with Indonesia, Cook, M, & Dalrymple, R.


looking at other defense partnerships, Australia has managed to extend its alliances even in the South East Asia through the likes of Indonesia. This has been facilitated by the geographical proximities of the two countries and the involvement of Australia in Indonesia’s political struggle, which even saw the release of Prime Minister Gillard. It also played a major part in the negotiations between the United Nations and Indonesia. This is a plus to the Australian defense since Indonesia is the South East Asia leading country. Having such an ally strengthens its relations to almost the entire of South East of Asia. Being strategically placed, Australia is key in Asian relations both within and without. For instance the partnership between Australia and Japan has established a liberal, rules based, and institutional international order within the region even before the emergence of China as a superpower. Hence as the Asia Pacific future strategy becomes more uncertain, Australia and Japan role of maintaining order is paramount today. The emergence of China in the Asian region is forcing Australia to go back to the drawing board in terms of its security partnerships especially with the United States and Japan. The ANZUS agreement has put Australia in a strategic quandary. This is a dilemma that it will continue facing in the future of how to continue being a security ally with the US and at the same time, sustain its relations with China in terms of trade, and not falling victim to the rivalry between China and the US. To overcome this, Australia should try and come up with security and foreign policies that are independent, and that are free from any formal security partnerships with other nations. More so, the country should try not to involve itself with regional systems in Asia through multifaceted connections that are both bilateral and multilateral. These systems include economics, education, geopolitics, culture, security, and societal and economic development

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