Is Australia the third wheel in US-China relations?

A recent US-China-Australia joint military exercise demonstrates Australia's capacity to be a a broker of friendship between the big players.

The Australian Government appeared to have been caught unawares by the recent China-US emissions reduction announcement at APEC, suggesting – unsurprisingly – that the dynamics of US-China relations evolve without Australia. Nevertheless, there is a real, albeit still emerging three-way relationship between Australia, China, and the US, one in which Australia has much more room to direct its own role.

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