Nowhere is the contrast between a rising China and the United States’ power more evident than in Asia-Pacific. This is especially the case in Australia, whose largest trading partner is China, but who remains one of the strongest and staunchest allies of the United States while also being heavily engaged throughout the region.
So how is Australia responding to recent geopolitical challenges? What role does it, or should it, play in the region and beyond? And what are the challenges and opportunities of national security policy planning and decision making?
Richard Marles is Australia’s Shadow Defence Minister, and the man who would be charged with grappling with these very questions if the Labor Party is to form the next government. Having previously served as Shadow Immigration Minister (2013 to 2016) during one of the most contentious periods in regional and global migration debates, Minister for Trade (2013), and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs (2010 to 2013), he has been a key member of Labor’s national security team for almost a decade and was recently described by The Australian national broadsheet as a “heavyweight in defence”.