When it comes to dealing with the US and China, Australians say “treat them equally”.


The United States has a number of major military and intelligence bases in Australia. Perhaps the best known are Pine Gap near Alice Springs and Northwest Cape which it is argued would be prime targets for any potential US enemy. Since 2013, Australia has also hosted a rotation of up to 2500 US marines through its Darwin military base. More and more it would appear that the US and Australian military are intertwined. For some this may be a good thing but former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, in his new book Dangerous Allies, says it may be a bit too close for comfort. He advocates a much more neutral stance. Former foreign Minister Bob Carr says this may not be that easy to do given the close nature of the Australia-US relationship these days.

A majority of Australians appear to feel a little uneasy about this situation with 46% saying in a major survey we carried out last year that they believe “in recent years Australia has allowed itself to become entangled in the US war machine which could have serious repercussions for our relationship with China” whereas 35%  said they don’t believe that statement. 19% said they don’t know or didn't want to know.[1]

From an earlier survey carried out between September 2012 and March 2013 on a sample of 10,655 respondents nationally[2], six in ten (61%) said they preferred Australia to treat the USA and China equally with the remainder responding as follows:

75% USA 25% China         14%

Don’t Know                        14%

100% toward USA              3%

75% China 25% USA          7%

100% toward China             1%

It would appear that most Australians have mixed feelings on how to deal with these two super powers.




[1] Survey taken by Australian Opinion Research online in July 2013 based on a representative sample of 1048 respondents nationwide.  www.australianopinionresearch.info


[2] Respondents were asked “How should Australia deal with America and China and invited to choose from the options detailed above. Sample size 10655, Survey period June 2012 – March 2013.Conducted by Australian Opinion Research.



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