Australian Associated Press
The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has rejected suggestions the US is waning as China rises, declaring that Australia’s key ally will remain the global superpower for decades to come.
Australia's alliance with the US remains as important as ever and will only deepen as co-operation in areas such as space evolves further, Bishop said on Wednesday.
The foreign minister expressed dismay at those who refer to America's decline as inevitable, or take the "narrower view" that the 21st century was China's for the taking.
"The outlook for the United States is stronger than ever and its role in the Asia Pacific even more of an imperative," Bishop told the US–Australia Alliance 21 conference in Canberra.
"Over coming decades the United States will remain the single most powerful state in the world."
The US was enshrined as Australia's No 1 ally when both nations joined New Zealand in signing the Anzus military alliance just after the second world war.
Australia has strongly endorsed America's strategic "pivot" to Asia, agreeing to rotate US marines throughout Darwin and working to finalise the major Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Foreign policy observers have warned this posturing could grate on China, and suggested Australia will eventually have to choose between US and China as the latter overtakes the former as the world superpower.
Bishop rejected this, saying history showed there was room for two major players and Australia expected and welcomed China’s rise as a "significant power" in the region.
Australia has abstained from taking a position on territorial disputes between China and its neighbours in the East and South China sea, urging all sides to follow international rules.
"If things don't go quite to plan, the alliance gives us a framework within which to tackle security issues in the region," she said.
This article was originally published by Australian Associated Press