How do China's leaders and political elites view the world? What kind of an international role would they like China to assume? The Director of the Lowy Institute’s East Asia Program Linda Jakobson discussed these issues at the Harvard Club of Australia's Monday Luncheon on Monday 4 June.
“Australia is still a relatively unknown entity among Chinese foreign policy strategists” explained Linda Jakobson, but “China’s dependence on nations such as Australia increases with every revolution and ascent of a possibly unstable new government in other resource rich countries”.
However, since President Obama’s visit to Australia last year and the announcement of 2500 US Marines to be rotated in and out of Darwin perceptions of Australia in China are changing. The Darwin decision “has put Australia on the radar screen of China’s strategic thinkers” said Jakobson, “the notion that the United States is striving to encircle China is becoming more and more mainstream”.
Xi Jinping, China’s likely next President and Secretary General of the Communist Party, has emerged as a strong advocate for China’s interests. Under Xi China can be expected to continue its recent trajectory towards further and stronger engagement with the international order.