As the global geopolitical landscape’s sands begin to change rapidly in the aftermath of coronavirus and the resulting economic downturn, fault lines in trade and international relations have once again come back to the forefront.
Federal governments from both major parties have maintained for well over a decade that Australia will continue to walk the fine line between its security relationship with the US and its close trade links with China.
But now that Australia’s trading relationship with Beijing is weakening, Canberra is gradually trying to reduce its heavy economic reliance on China’s exports.
It was recently announced that the Morrison government would seek veto powers of all public dealings with foreign nations, including existing agreements made by state governments and universities.
The Morrison government is expected to use the new powers to end the involvement of the Victorian state government in China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.
This initiative is the global infrastructure programme designed to connect China to the world and foster the spread of Chinese influence in Beijing.
The activities of the Morrison Government are likely to further agitate a Beijing already dissatisfied with the growing acts of defiance by Canberra.
As tensions continue to escalate around the Indo-Pacific, Australia is not the only nation that is pursuing alternatives to help ensure the stability and security of critical supply chains.
Recently it has been announced that India, Japan and Australia are heading towards a trilateral agreement to protect global supply chains and reduce their dependency on China, with the prospective pact to be named the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI).