Grand Stakes: Australia's future between China and India
Rory Medcalf is Senior Research Fellow in Indian Strategic Affairs, School of Social Sciences, University of NSW. He is concurrently Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute. His professional background spans diplomacy, journalism and intelligence analysis. He has worked as a senior strategic analyst with the Office of National Assessments in Canberra. His experience as a diplomat included a posting to New Delhi, a secondment to Japan’s foreign ministry and truce monitoring on Bougainville. His earlier work as a journalist was commended in the Walkley awards. He has also contributed to three landmark reports on nuclear arms control, including the Canberra Commission. He is a member of the editorial board of the Australian Journal of International Affairs and an Honorary Fellow at the Australia-India Institute. He is founding convenor of the Australia-India Roundtable, the leading informal dialogue between the two countries.
For Australia, the rise of China and India combines vast economic gain with challenges in security and values. The Asian giants have become principal markets for Australia's resources, major sources of human capital, and critical strategic players in the region. China brings Australia greater economic benefits than India, but its growing military power, combined with differences over values, poses security anxieties. Thus, Canberra has tried to intensify diplomatic engagement and economic enmeshment with both powers, yet is also seeking to hegde against Chinese power. This involves strengthening Australia's defence posture, enhancing the U.S alliance and forging new kinds of strategic ties with Asian partners, including India. In the wake of President Obama's 2011 visit, Labor's policy shift on uranium exports to India, and a challenging phase in China's regional diplomacy, this lecture will raise questions about the nature and viability of an Australian strategy to sustain good relations with the giants of the Asian century.
The lecture was introduced by Professor Alan Dupont, Director, Institute for International Security and Development, UNSW
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