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Chinese Australian Relations Essay

1001 words - 4 pages

Analyzing the Chinese-Australian relations through a realist and a liberal perspective provides insight on the underlying tensions and possible future outcomes of the relationship between these two nations. First let us look at the relations through a realist lens. Realists put the emphasis on the state as a main actor. When considering this the realist would perhaps say that the Australia-China relationship is primarily derived from individual state actions as opposed to outside influence. China needed resources and Australia needed capital. It was Australia’s individual decision to begin trading relations with China and vice versa. It can also be noted, however, that Australia desires to take the relationship no further than a simple trading one as can be inferred from the sentence “Rudd, while embracing Chinese trade, has moved to balance relations with Beijing by bolstering military and diplomatic ties with Australia's longtime superpower ally, the United States.” This also points to the realist perspective that human nature has a darker side and that we should be wary of those we “deal” with. Realists would also point out China’s interest in Australia is derived from the desire for more power. The Chinese “essentially want to maximize their ability to get what they want” per realist perspective. Resources are but one way in which China seeks to utilize the Australians. This perspective would most likely assert that the Chinese would seek to exert their power over their new grip on the economy of the Australians. As it is they are already Australia’s number one trading partner, have pumped $40 billion into Australia’s economy in just the past six months, and purchase more than 300 million tons of ore per year and vast quantities of natural gas. The article explains how the Chinese have invaded the board rooms of major resource companies in Australia and have bought large amounts of shares in big companies central to the Australian economy. One would look at this and say it is somewhat of a takeover except through monetary means.
A liberal would argue that the non-state actors such as Chinese businessman and investors are operating under self-interest and are not overly concerned with the nation of China as a whole, just their wallets. In this perspective the nation of China would seem to be influenced by non-state actors and are simply benefiting from the trade with Australia instigated by its own investors and businessman. In other words, China as a nation did not set up the terms nor cause the relationship that occurred between them and Australia; instead it was non-state actors with venture capital that caused such a relationship to occur. A liberal would differ from a realist in their perspective on China’s motivation for relations with Australia. Realists, as I pointed out earlier, would point to power accumulation, national security, and defense. Liberals, however, would say economic stability and overall wellbeing.
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