Australia has to decide on trajectory of ties with US

By Robert Kristof Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/8 19:53:39

I am writing to the author of the article "Meddling in South China Sea deepens Australia's strategic plight" published in your newspaper last week.

I believe you have given much thought and consideration to the multi-faceted aspects of Australia's recent and projected geopolitical trajectory. I also believe that we share a similar motivation to debate and discuss these issues further to discover new ideas. Having declared myself as like-minded as you, I would like to also add the following:

I generally accept your argument of Australia's position in relation to the US and China. I also agree that Australia has much larger global ambitions than it is actually capable of. Australians in general harbor a false sense of self-grandiosity in international affairs.

I disagree with your conclusive understanding that this is a detriment to the Australian position. Whereas you may believe Australia has put itself into a hole, I think it is now at a crossroads.

I would like to introduce my thinking to yours on this article. Australia is at an advantage, as seen from its self-interest view. It has the opportunity to choose between the Mexico model or the Canadian model with regards to relations with the US.

The Mexico-model relationship would be based on a cultural resistance, resentment and being dictated by a neighboring economic/political superpower.

The Canadian-model relationship would be based on a passive acceptance, opportunism, low-population/high-security and being dictated by a neighboring/political superpower.

The future Australian elections, which will put individuals in positions of power in the near future, will be in a directing position to influence Australia's path into what subordinate yet critical relationship it will have with China.

This will involve the national sentiment of the population, which is not favorable to the Chinese, and the irrational decisions by their elected officials.

I believe the Australians have an equal likelihood to fall into either Mexico or Canada models, however how the Chinese government handles Australians will be a huge factor in the final outcome.

Robert Kristof, a naval officer based in Atlanta, Georgia

Posted in: VIEWPOINT,LETTERS

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