Many Narratives in Asia

The economic power of the globe is shifting to nations like China and India, but the rise of those nations is beneficial to Australia as well as the United States, said Australian Foreign Minister Robert Carr Wednesday. “China has every right to seek influence,” he said during an address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. The extent to which China’s ambitions can be peacefully accommodated will depend on its behavior and on the international order finding space for China, he said. Some have noted with alarm China’s translation of its economic power into increased military force. But Carr noted Henry Kissinger’s observation that the more unusual outcome would be if China were not building some form of increased military capacity. “The question is whether that buildup is open-ended, and what purpose it is put towards,” said Carr. He said China’s response has been “relatively muted” to the United States’ pivot to the Pacific under the Obama Administration’s new defense strategy. China understands Australia’s close security relationship with the United States, he noted. “They accept that as reality . . . but that doesn’t prevent a vast area of Chinese and Australian cooperation,” he added during his April 25 speech.