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Britain Goes Hat in Hand to Australia

How the tables have turned. Great Britain is now courting Australia, its old cast-off colony, for strategic assistance in Asia. The FT reports that the two countries are set to sign a wide-ranging defense treaty, boosting the UK’s global profile as it sets its sights beyond Europe in the 21st-century geopolitical theater:

Owing to its geographic location, vast mineral reserves and cultural ties, Australia’s is seen by the UK government as a natural partner to help expand Britain’s influence in Asia. […]

“While our interests will not always be identical, the UK and Australia can work together to support stability in the region, to support education, fight corruption, promote trade, co-operate on energy and make greater use of the Commonwealth network in Asia,” [foreign secretary William Hague] told an audience at the Menzies Research Centre John Howard Lecture in Sydney on Thursday.

With the UK reconsidering its role in Europe and looking to play a broader global role, its focus is increasingly turning towards Asia, where much of the action is happening. As a culturally Anglo-Saxon country with a deep economic cultural understanding of Asia, Australia makes perfect sense as an ally and is uniquely positioned to aid Britain (and the U.S.) in the pivot to Asia.

This is good news for U.S. interests in the region. Creating a liberal economic zone more open to trade and investment has long been a goal of American policymakers in Asia; a more active role on the part of the Anglosphere nations would do much to spur this along.

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