Malcolm Turnbull, who appears to be next in line to win the Australian prime ministership, may make an Asian pivot of his own—toward China. Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Hugh White of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at Australian National University suggests (and hopes) that a Turnbull Administration would shift Australia away from the Anglosphere:
Just a few days after Obama’s 2011 pivot speech to our Parliament received a gushing response from Gillard, Turnbull issued this stark warning: “An Australian government needs to be careful not to allow a doe-eyed fascination with the leader of the free world to distract from the reality that our national interest requires us to truly (and not just rhetorically) maintain both an ally in Washington and a good friend in Beijing.”And finally, Turnbull recognises that all this means Australia has to rethink its place in Asia from the ground up. We cannot assume, he has said, that “the strategic and diplomatic posture that served us in the past can and will serve us unchanged in the future; or that it doesn’t matter if our strategic and economic messages to our region are somewhat contradictory”.
In terms of the U.S.-China balance of power, both regionally and globally, this is one to watch.