Obama meets Aussie troops in Darwin, Australia: With
influence on the rise, the U.S. has found willing partners
the region. But does the stationing of U.S. troops in Australia
Beijing the right message?
People's Daily, People's
Republic of China
Avoid Helping America Hurt China's Interests
In allowing the long-term stationing
of U.S. Marines on Australian soil, is Canberra running the risk of damaging
Australian ties with its largest trading partner, China? According to this
editorial from China's state-run People's Daily, Aussies had better
tread carefully as they embrace Washington's new Pacific push.
President Obama lays a wreath to Australia's unknown soldier, Nov. 17. The announcement of U.S. plans to send troops and 're-engage' with the region has upset Beijing, even as it has pleased many local U.S. allies.
U.S. President Barack Obama is
in Australia today as part of a long-delayed visit. It has been reported that
Obama will announce an expanded American military presence in Australia. The
move is widely seen as a renewal of the U.S.-Australia alliance to keep China
It is also being interpreted
as Australia choosing between the two largest Asia-Pacific powers, the U.S. and
China. Prime Minister Julia Gillard refuted that interpretation on Tuesday, saying,
"It is well and truly possible for us, in this growing region of the world,
to have an ally in the U.S. and to have deep friendships in our region, including
Nevertheless, both Chinese
and Australian media know that this is merely diplomatic parlance. Some
Australians worry that this unfriendly move will damage their country's
relations with its largest trade partner, China.
Apparently, Australia aspires
to maximize the political and security benefits of its alliance with America
while gaining the greatest economic benefit from China. But Gillard may be
ignoring something: their economic cooperation with China poses no threat to
the U.S., whereas the Australia-U.S. military alliance does serve to counter
Australia shouldn't try
playing China for a fool. It will be impossible for Beijing to remain detached as
Australia undermines China's security. Chinese society has real concern about Australia's
acceptance of a greater U.S. military presence. This psychology will influence
the long-term development of Australia-China relations.
Some Australians argue that
China needs Australian resources to fuel its economy, and so the two countries
rely on one another. It's true that China has few cards to play to counter
Australia. In the short-term the U.S. military presence won't change matters.
It remains to be seen how
Australia will behave in the future and how China will respond. But one thing
is certain - if Australia uses its military bases to help America harm Chinese
interests, then it will be caught in the crossfire. Australia should at
least prevent things from growing out of control.
People here understand Canberra's
difficulty in seeking a balance between the two powers and China values its
friendship with Australia. However, there is a line that neither side should
cross. Rather than merely uttering soothing words, Australia should cherish its
friendship with China and show that it does.
Australia is nimble at
navigating between great powers. We believe Australia has the wisdom to deal
with the U.S.-China game in order to guarantee its own prosperity and security.
Australia should make
endeavors to defuse, rather than aggravate, misgivings between the U.S. and
China. This will bring greater benefits to Australia's interests and regional
peace. In this regard, Australia can be a huge force for good.
Help Support Worldmeets.us
Worldmeets.us is a non-partisan, volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that operates solely in the public interest. The opinions expressed in articles posted by Worldmeets.us are not necessarily those of Worldmeets.us, its sponsors or its volunteers.