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Australia intends to ‘break away from Europe and integrate into Asia’

(People's Daily Online)

14:34, November 20, 2012

The foreign ministers and defense ministers of the United States and Australia have recently held talks in Australia and Asia-Pacific security is one of the important issues. Before that, Australian Prime Minister Julia Eileen Gillard just issued a White Paper titled “Australia in the Asian Century” in October, making a plan for integrating into Asia in the coming decades and becoming a “winner,” which is the first case of Asia-Pacific countries and causes widespread concern of the international community. Meanwhile, the White Paper also stressed to lay the focus on strengthening of relations with China.

The White Paper displayed the following characteristics:

First, it is a significant adjustment in Australia’s foreign policy since the birth of the country. According to the White Paper, it depends on the degree of its integration into Asia whether Australia will succeed or not in the future, meanwhile listing specific routes, policies and requirements, which involve the fields of politics, economy, culture and arts. For example, all the students must master an Asian language and one-third of directors of Australia’s top 200 listed companies and officials of Federal Government agencies must know Asia very well. It is not difficult to see that the focus of Australia’s foreign relations has transferred from Europe to Asia. In a sense, it is also a route map for Australia to break away from Europe and integrate into Asia.

Second, it is also a route map for Australia to carry out comprehensive reform and realize economic take-off. Thanks for Asian especially Chinese huge demand for mineral products, Australia became the only Western country that escaped the impact of the global financial crisis. However, Australia must improve its competitiveness in other circles to ride on Asian coattails because the mining development is no longer promising. For this reason, the White Paper proposed reform requirements in various fields, such as establishing innovation system and taxation and reforming financial regulatory mechanism.

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