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« Australia’s Indo-Pacific approach, and China relations » with Steve Howard
21 novembre 2019 à 17 h 00 min - 19 h 00 min
Compulsory registration (send an email to email@example.com)
Speaker : Steve Howard
Steve Howard, Secretary General to the Global Foundation, is a global strategist with 20 years experience working on the emergence of China as a global leader.
The Global Foundation is a nonpartisan, private sector-based initiative focused on Sustainable Development projects involving several countries. Originally Australian, the Foundation has established strong connections with European, British, US, Chinese and South East Asian think tanks as well as global companies and personalities. Asia Centre is a new and important future partner for the Global Foundation in France.
France-Australia ties within the Indo-pacific perspective
Based on a “shared heritage” in the Pacific, French President Emmanuel Macron had outlined in 2018 projects to strengthen cooperation with India and Australia upon security, economy and environment matters. As Chinese influence grows in the area (namely through massive infrastructure projects, part of the worldwide “Belt and Road Initiative”), the Indo-Pacific concept reinforces around preoccupations shared by the Quad democracies – mainly the importance of preserving the “rules” shaping today’s economic environment. The United States, Japan, India and Australia hence gather around an “alternative” agenda which aims at counterbalancing a perceived Chinese hegemony.
Australia and China’s evolving relations
While the Australian and American governments may have a similar appreciation of Beijing’s behaviour, Canberra faces a crucial dilemma: despite being the United States’ rival, China is also Australia’s main economic partner. In 2018, the value of achieved bilateral trade exceeded USD 123 billion. Nevertheless, for the past year, the situation has been increasingly tensed: in addition to their financial and political expansion in an area that historically falls under Australia’s influence, the Chinese activity now unfolds a threat of domestic interference. Trust between the two countries decreased progressively with Canberra’s implementation, throughout 2019, of retaliation measures. Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Payne calls out the situation of the Uighur minorities in Western China, generating prompt reactions from the Chinese authorities. As Prime Minister Scott Morrison met in late October with Vice-President Wang Qishan, several Australian business representatives urged their governments to preserve economic cooperation.
In this context, The Global Foundation, with its uniquely global perspective, aims to guide the parties – Australia, China, France, the Pacific Island states, towards a model of win-win co-operation, promoting an overall fresh ‘dialogue between civilisations’ and encouraging specific projects that demonstrate goodwill rather than further fracturing.