chapter  8
16 Pages

Australia navigates Sino-Japanese competition

Engaging, binding, and hedging
ByNick Bisley

This chapter explores the ways in which Sino-Japanese competition has shaped Australian security and defence policy and, through this, to show not only that this has been a significant factor in shaping Australian behaviour over recent years, but also to illustrate the need to explore the complex detail of strategic relations across the region to fully grasp the forces shaping Asian security. It begins with an examination of the dynamics shaping Australia's relations with China. The chapter argues that Australia has adopted an "engage but hedge" approach to China. It turns to the relationship that has developed with Japan. Over the past decade and a half, bilateral security ties between Tokyo and Canberra have become remarkably strong. Indeed, both now describes the security relationship as their most important and developed in the region. The chapter concludes with a broader reflection on the dynamics of regional competition and what it means for Australia's security policy.