The Roo and the Dragon

PRIF Report by Niklas Schörnig on the Australian double strategy under former Prime Minister Rudd towards China's economic and military rise

The rise of China is a formidable challenge for western-oriented Australia, especially as China's economic revival is mirrored by a significant increase in its military might.

Facing this challenge, Australia's Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, Kevin Rudd, pursued two seemingly inconsistent policies towards China: He proposed an "Asia Pacific Community" in order to integrate China into a more formal regional institution, while at the same time he advocated a vast military procurement programme in response to China's increasing investments in military capabilities. How can these  apparently contradictory initiatives directed at the People's Republic be explained?


Discussing the concept of so-called "Power Transition Theory", Niklas Schörnig shows in PRIF Report No. 99 "The Roo and the Dragon. Australia's foreign policy towards China during the Rudd era" that the aforementioned measures do not contradict but complement each other. The author clarifies the way Australia copes with the tremendous changes in the region and how the self-proclaimed "middle power" tries to influence "bigger" players in order to promote its own interests.


This Report can be ordered at PRIF for EUR 10,- and is also available as free pdf-file for download.