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Episode 84: AUKUS Revisited

09 Oct 2021
By Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA and Dr Darren Lim

Also discussed in this episode of Australia in the World: Quad leaders; China & CPTPP; and Taiwan.

This week Allan and Darren begin by resuming their discussion of AUKUS. With the decision now a few weeks old, have their minds changed? How are they seeing the debate evolving? What have been some of the more interesting contributions? For Darren, interventions by former Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Paul Keating are particularly notable, and Allan has plenty to say on both.

Second, the two turn to the first in-person leaders meeting of the Quad. What is its significance? What should one make of the (over 2000 word) communique? Are things headed in a positive direction? Third, an area where both agree US leadership has been lacking is in trade, which makes China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) all the more interesting. Is this a serious application? How should Canberra approach it, given the ongoing campaign of economic coercion? Meanwhile, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai gave a speech on US-China relations this week—does that offer clues as to the Biden administration’s plans for China, or economic leadership generally in the region? Finally, with Beijing upping its aerial incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), both Allan and Darren offer some preliminary comments on what will certainly remain an issue in the months and years ahead.

We thank Mitchell McIntosh for audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Stephen Dziedzic (@stephendziedzic ; Twitter) on FM Payne’s response to criticism on AUKUS, 1 October 2021:

Deep State Radio (Podcast), “Biden’s multi-tiered China policy is a far cry from Trump’s”, 4 October 2021:

Zachary Basu and Jonathan Swan, “Inside Biden’s full-court press with France”, Axios, 6 October 2021:

Malcolm Turnbull, Address to the National Press Club, 29 September 2021:

Paul Keating, “A relic of a bygone age? I might be, but I’m not a defeatist”, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 2021:

Peter Khalil, “Why my hero Keating is wrong on China and our national security”, Sydney Morning Herald, 23 September 2021:

Paul Keating, “China’s responsibilities”, Speech to the 21st Century Council, Beijing, 3 November 2013:

Quad Leaders’ Summit Communique, 24 September 2021:

Fact Sheet: Quad Leaders’ Summit, The White House, 24 September 2021:

“Australia to oppose China’s bid to join trade pact until it halts strikes against exports”, The Guardian, 18 September 2021:

“A Conversation with Ambassador Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative”, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 4 October 2021:

“9/11 Inside the President’s War Room” (TV Show):

Amia Srinivasan, “Does anyone have the right to sex?”, London Review of Books, 22 March 2018:

Lidija Haas, “A Woman and a Philosopher: An Interview with Amia Srinivasan”, The Paris Review, 22 September 2021:

Conversations with Tyler (podcast), “Amia Srinivasan on utopian feminism”, 22 September 2021: