Chapter 9: Deeper and broader relationships
Australia’s connections with the region have, over decades, been woven into a pattern that is both deep and complex.
We engage across the board—through governments at all levels, businesses, unions, academics, universities, the media, students, migrants, tourists, volunteers, scientists and people involved in the arts and sporting activities.
From these strong foundations, Australia will need to deepen and broaden our relationships across the community as competition for influence and access to markets increase in coming decades.
Stronger and more comprehensive relationships with countries across the region will be built through collaboration and cooperation and based on trust, mutual respect and understanding.
We will maintain an effective diplomatic network, with the necessary capabilities, and with an expanded footprint across Asia over time.
We will work with the Australian community to develop comprehensive country strategies, with China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea as our initial priorities, to bring a stronger national purpose and cohesion to these relationships.
Australia’s people-to-people links will be deeper and broader, through government support and through the actions of the entire community. This will include the substantial flows of people and ideas between institutions, such as parliaments, educational institutions, business and community groups and the public service.
We will commit 12,000 Australia Awards (Asian Century) over the next five years to nations in Asia to encourage people-to-people links with the region.
Cultural connections across a range of areas can be powerful forces for bringing people together. Exchanges in culture build greater understanding, foster cultural appreciation and offer commercial opportunities.