China's rise and middle power democracies: Canada and Australia compared
Assessments of how international actors are responding to China's rise typically focus on rival great powers or on China's Asian neighbors. In these cases, relative power, geographic proximity, and regional institutions have conditioned relationships with China. The relationship of China with the developing world has mainly been defined by power asymmetry and the appeal of the Chinese governance model to authoritarian regimes. Largely absent from this discussion is an understanding of how Western middle power democracies are responding to China's rise. This article compares how Canada and Australia - two Western democratic states with prominent middle power foreign policy traditions - are responding to the rise of China. The two case studies are similar in many respects: both are resource-based economies with a track record of bilateral and institutional engagement in the Asia-Pacific, and both are key US allies. These similarities allow differences in the Canadian and Australian responses to China's rise to be isolated in the political, economic, and strategic realms.
International Relations of the Asia-Pacific