Since the election of Xi Jinping as President in 2012, China has become far more aggressive on its borders to the east and west, as well as in its relations with other countries, according to an Australian foreign policy expert, who believes the world is heading for a prolonged period of bipolar competition in the Indo-Pacific region.
Dr Michael Fullilove, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute of Australia, delivered the 2nd Atal Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Lecture, saying that while China’s economic progress has been amazing, India’s economic rise is also crucial for the Asian success storey.
“Emerging Asia is the world’s most dynamic region, responsible for more than half of global growth yet accounting for only a third of global GDP,” he stated in his speech.
Fullilove noted that while “the economic outlook is favourable in Asia,” “the security perspective is not.” He was speaking on ‘Australia, India, and the Indo-Pacific: The Need for Strategic Imagination.’
He warned that the globe is on the verge of “a long period of bipolar rivalry in the Indo-Pacific area.”
“Over the last decade, both the US and China have engaged in worrying behaviour in the Indo-Pacific.”
Fullilove slammed the impact of US policies on geopolitics under Donald Trump’s presidency, saying that while Washington’s international posture has been changed over the last decade, Beijing’s “has been steady and increasingly alarming.”
“Since President Xi Jinping’s ascent in 2012, China has grown far more assertive on its borders to the east and west, as well as in its dealings with neighbouring countries. Australia is an outlier in this regard “In an apparent allusion to the deterioration of China-Australia relations, he remarked.
The major reason for the deterioration in Canberra’s relations with Beijing, he said, is that “China has evolved.” “Its foreign policy has become more abrasive. People’s rights in China have become more restricted. It has lost its willingness to take criticism “Added he.
The second Atal Bihari Vajpayee Lecture was held by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to commemorate the former Prime Minister’s birthday, which falls on Saturday. S Jaishankar, the Minister of External Affairs, and Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the Foreign Secretary, also spoke at the event.
The former Prime Minister played a significant role in developing India’s foreign policy, and the memorial lecture is a high-profile event hosted by the MEA to commemorate his efforts.