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Australia urges strong, sustained U.S. engagement in Asia, warns on China

Australia urges strong, sustained U.S. engagement in Asia, warns on China
From Reuters - November 22, 2017

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia called on Thursday on the United States to build a strong presence in Asia and bolster ties with like-minded partners while warning against Chinas rising influence.

A more insular United States would be detrimental to the liberal nature of the worlds rules-based order, the government said in a 115-page foreign policy white paper.

Australia believes that international challenges can only be tackled effectively when the worlds wealthiest, most innovative and most powerful country is engaged in solving them, the government said.

The white paper is a guide for Australian diplomacy and provides a roadmap for advancing its interests.

The election of President Donald Trump represented a step towards a more isolationist world, which could be negative for Australias export-dependent economy, commentators have said.

Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership regional trade agreement in January, shortly after he took office.

Strong and sustained U.S. engagement in the international system remains fundamental to international stability and prosperity, the government said in the paper.

Without such engagement, the effectiveness and liberal character of the international order would erode.

Australia is one of the staunchest U.S. allies and troops from the two countries have fought alongside each other in all major conflicts for generations.

But the economic growth and power that the United States has enjoyed since the end of the World War Two is now being challenged by China, Australia said.

Australia and China have close economic ties but China is suspicious of Australias close military relationship with the United States.

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