Australia and regional cooperation in Northeast Asia: from hegemony to a multilateral security mechanism?

18 May 2007

Australia will never want to choose between China and the United States. Yet the contrasting approaches of the US and China to security in the post Cold war era are stark. Now, argues Peter Van Ness, "even the defenders of US hegemony acknowledge that American hegemony can no longer be sustained by unilateralist designs." Paradoxically "the crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons presents the best opportunity yet to build new security institutions in East Asia." Australia, Van Ness concludes," would not directly participate in the new Northeast Asian institution, but would nonetheless enjoy the public goods generated by that initiative in security cooperation. The opportunity may only be temporary, so it is urgent to undertake the task."

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