01 September 2019
Scott Morrison, Donald Trump and the Indo-Pacific
Echoing uncertain geopolitical times, Australian politics confounded opinion polls and pundits at the May 18 federal election. Re-election of the Liberal-National coalition government was a “miracle” result, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The surprise victory transformed Morrison’s authority within his party and the country – and burnished his relationship with US President Donald Trump. Morrison says the shift in the US-China relationship from engagement to competition is “inevitable,” calling for the Indo-Pacific to deepen patterns of cooperation so the competition does not become adversarial.
Australia was an early adopter of the Indo-Pacific concept, describing it as a useful geographic construct. Now Australia is embracing the Indo-Pacific not merely as construct, but as a US strategy – the Free and Open Indo-Pacific.