Sydney, Nov 23: Australia called on Thursday on the United States to build a strong presence in Asia and bolster ties with “like-minded” partners while warning against China’s rising influence. A more insular United States would be detrimental to the liberal nature of the world’s “rules-based order”, the government said in a 115-page foreign policy white paper.
“Australia believes that international challenges can only be tackled effectively when the world’s wealthiest, most innovative and most powerful country is engaged in solving them,” the government said.
The white paper is a guide for Australian diplomacy and provides a roadmap for advancing its interests.
The election of US President Donald Trump represented a step towards a more isolationist world, which could be negative for Australia’s export-dependent economy, commentators have said.
Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership regional trade agreement in January, shortly after he took office.
“Strong and sustained U.S. engagement in the international system remains fundamental to international stability and prosperity,” the government said in the paper.
“Without such engagement, the effectiveness and liberal character of the international order would erode.”
Australia is one of the staunchest U.S. allies and troops from the two countries have fought alongside each other in all major conflicts for generations.
But the economic growth and power that the United States has enjoyed since the end of the World War Two is now being challenged by China, Australia said.
Australia and China have close economic ties but China is suspicious of Australia’s close military relationship with the United States.