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PacNet #70 – Australia’s Asian Century White Paper: A goer or a beat up?

Most countries are waking up to the opportunities and challenges created by the extraordinary economic dynamism in Asia, but few are as conflicted about this process as Australia. This isn’t because Australia is more vulnerable to this transformation, but rather because relations with Asia go to the heart of Australia’s identity. A nation with historical ties to Anglo-Celtic Europe is increasingly Asian in look and orientation. In an attempt to guide the country through this tempest, Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government last week released a white paper on Australia in the Asian Century. A worthwhile endeavor with thoughtful suggestions, the White Paper reveals much about the government’s thinking on Australia’s future economic prosperity; however, it lacks a deep reflection on Australia’s place in the region.