With Asia or America?

From the January 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

Australia is finding itself in a unique and precarious position. As time goes on, this nation will have to make some crucial geopolitical decisions.

Due to its geographical location, Australia’s foreign policy has constantly been a balancing act. The nation sits on the doorstep of the influential and rapidly coalescing region of Asia, yet its primary alliance has always been with its American cousin. The time is coming, however, when Australia will have to choose one or the other.

Recent events indicate which path Australia will eventually walk.

Last November, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (asean) met in Laos with China, Japan, South Korea and India, as well as Australia and New Zealand, to talk over free-trade agreements with these countries. As part of the pact, an accord with China was signed which will create a market of 2 billion people “to compete with Europe and the United States” (Asia Times, Dec. 1, 2004).

In a tremendously telling indication of where Australia stands in the region, every national leader at the conference also signed a non-

aggression pact—the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation—except John Howard, prime minister of Australia. Howard refused to sign this asean treaty—or even consider it—because, as Asia Times reported, he was “worried about sending the wrong signal to the United States” (ibid.). Signing the treaty with asean would have compromised Australia’s security commitments under the anzus Treaty—the defense agreement between Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.

In essence, Australia chose America over Asia.

Watch for Asia’s response to Howard’s decision. As Asia Times pointed out, it will not be conciliatory. “The proposed [free-trade agreement] with asean will probably proceed whether or not Canberra accedes to the Treaty of Amity. But in failing to conform to Asian expectations, Australia will leave itself exposed to a far greater set of diplomatic pressures once the serious talk starts on a broader East Asian agreement. asean leaders will find it difficult to justify Canberra’s involvement in future diplomatic summits if it lacks a full commitment to the bloc’s ideals …” (ibid.; emphasis ours). Though Asia relies heavily on Australia for raw materials and Australia relies heavily on Asia for investment and tourism, weightier policy matters will win out.

Asia is rising speedily. The region is uniting. America no longer dominates the area as it once did. Asian nations are increasingly pursuing anti-American foreign policies in their efforts to curb U.S. influence. This makes Australia uncomfortable.

Not only do current events indicate which side Australia will take, so does the Bible.

The U.S. and Australia really are cousins. America is descended from Manasseh, while Britain and its commonwealth daughters, including Australia, are descended from Ephraim—both sons of Joseph (Genesis 48). For more information on this connection please request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy. This book also explains how the power and influence of America and the British peoples will be destroyed in the end time.