A former advisor to US Secretary of State John Kerry and a former advisor to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have collaborated on a special report published today by the United States Studies Centre (USSC) examining the future of the US-Australia alliance amidst increasing tensions with China.

Dr Charles Edel and Dr John Lee, both senior fellows with the USSC, write on the divergences between the two allies when it comes to countering China, and how to narrow those differences. They also offer a comprehensive set of recommendations for how Australia and the United States can be better allies to each other given the rapidly shifting conditions and differing perspectives on several key issues. 

"The United States and Australia have a long and storied history as close allies. And yet, at this present time, there are frustrations between Canberra and Washington," the authors write in the report.

"Both countries would be well served by clarifying their expectations of each other. There are areas where Australia and the United States can continue, and even intensify their collaboration. But there are other areas where they will have to be content to undertake efforts independently." 

The report will be launched at the University of Sydney this evening. Australia's next ambassador to the United States, Senator the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, will address the event. Media wishing to attend can RSVP via the media contact below.

Key points

  • “America First” might have political utility in the United States, but it works less well for alliance management and undercuts more successful prosecution of a China strategy.
  • Australia should more forcefully defend its democratic values in an ideologically-contested Asia.
  • There is a gap between governmental perception and public opinion of the challenges posed by China. Governments in both countries should increase public awareness of the challenges associated with China’s rise.

View report

Media enquiries

Drew Sheldrick
T 02 9114 2622