Will regional powers in the Asia-Pacific have to choose between China and the United States? In Independent Ally, Shannon Tow challenges this prevailing view. She explores how one key regional power, Australia, has repeatedly developed a strong relationship with a rising power while simultaneously preserving its alliance with a dominant global power.
Far from being a ‘dependent ally’ that simply follows the policies of its great and powerful friends, Australia has consistently developed and pursued an independent foreign policy toward those great powers that have played an important role in shaping its destiny. It has proactively negotiated the terms of its relationships with those powers in ways that have been mutually complementary and that have supported its strategic interests in regional order. The extent to which Australia can do so in future relates directly to the findings and lessons this study provides.
Drawing on newly released archival material and interviews with prominent former policymakers, this book examines how six different Australian Prime Ministers successfully navigated these great power relationships over the last century.