chapter  9
Engagement with Asia
ByErik C. Paul
Pages 17

Australia is partly responsible for the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The launch of US-based hedge funds was instrumental in destabilizing Asian currencies and markets. The Asian financial crisis has revived East Asian regionalism and support for Malaysia's Mahathir proposed East Asian Economic Caucus which excludes Australia. Australia's leading role in the United Nations Temporary Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) following the Paris agreement of 1992, is part of its security strategy in Southeast Asia. Australia's strategy towards China has received some support from a number of Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia who view China as the long-term threat to their security. Australia's foreign relations in Asia can be portrayed as Matilda waltzing with dictators. Australia's policy of appeasement hides a psychotic condition which is the basis for permanent regional geopolitical tensions. Australia's interaction and interdependence with Asia will increase with the continuing industrialisation of the region and dependence on Australian resources.