Living With The Giants

In their foreign policies, countries respond not just to existing power but to potential power. That is what is happening now in Australia's relations with China. The process is subtle: doors to ministerial offices open more easily; diplomatic language is crafted more carefully; complaints are responded to more speedily. China may lag far behind the U.S. in military capability, but its political and economic influence is growing very fast. Since the early 1990s, China has emerged as a significant regional power. Its economy powered through the Asian financial crisis and it has become the world's investment magnet. Its low-cost...