The Ultimate AUKUS Question: Can America solve our China problem?

Professor Hugh White AO

6pm-7pm, Monday 5 August 2024

National Office

Level 4, 50 Kitchener Street, Auckland CBD

At its most fundamental, Australia's decision to embrace AUKUS reflects a commitment to Washington’s policy of containing China in order to preserve the long-standing regional order built on US primacy. Whether that proves a wise decision depends on how far America’s containment policy will succeed - a question that needs to be assessed carefully and dispassionately.

In this presentation Professor Hugh White will try to do this, paying particular attention to the US side of the equation.  On the one hand, what imperatives impel America to preserve its strategic position as Asia’s primary power?  On the other, what costs and risks must America accept in order to do so?  Do the imperatives outweigh those costs and risks, or not?  If not, how can we expect America’s containment policy to succeed?  And what difference will November’s US presidential election make?

Professor White’s address will be discussed by Professor Rouben Azizian, Centre of Defence and Security Studies and Massey University and Chair of

Attendance is free. Pre-registration is required.

About Professor Hugh White AO

Hugh White AO is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University. His work focuses primarily on Australian strategic and defence policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, and global strategic affairs especially as they influence Australia and the Asia-Pacific. He has served as an intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessments, as a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald, as a senior adviser on the staffs of Defence Minister Kim Beazley and Prime Minister Bob Hawke, and as a senior official in the Department of Defence, where from 1995 to 2000 he was Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence, and as the first Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). In the 1970s he studied philosophy at Melbourne and Oxford Universities. He was the principal author of Australia’s 2000 Defence White Paper. His major publications include Power Shift: Australia’s future between Washington and Beijing, [2010], The China Choice: Why America should share power, [2012], Without America: Australia’s future in the New Asia [2017], and How to defend Australia [2019]

 About Professor Rouben Azizian

Rouben Azizian is a professor at Massey University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies. His major areas of expertise are Asia-Pacific security environment and architecture, diplomacy and conflict resolution, security sector governance and post-Soviet politics. Professor Azizian is also the Chair of the Auckland Branch of the NZIIA, Editor-in-Chief of the National Security Journal and member of editorial boards of various international academic journals. Previously he taught at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu (2002-2015) and the Department of Political Studies at the University of Auckland (1994-2001). Prior to becoming a full-time academic, Professor Azizian had an extensive career in the Soviet and later Russian Foreign Service, which included assignments in Nepal (1972-1978), Sri Lanka (1980-1985) and New Zealand (1991-1994). Professor Azizian has published several books as well as numerous book chapters, journal articles and working papers on Asia-Pacific security issues and post-Soviet policies and politics.

Contact the National Office

NATIONAL OFFICE CONTACT

nziia@vuw.ac.nz

At its most fundamental, Australia's decision to embrace AUKUS reflects a commitment to Washington’s policy of containing China in order to preserve the long-standing regional order built on US primacy. Whether that proves a wise decision depends on how far America’s containment policy will succeed - a question that needs to be assessed carefully and dispassionately.

In this presentation Professor Hugh White will try to do this, paying particular attention to the US side of the equation.  On the one hand, what imperatives impel America to preserve its strategic position as Asia’s primary power?  On the other, what costs and risks must America accept in order to do so?  Do the imperatives outweigh those costs and risks, or not?  If not, how can we expect America’s containment policy to succeed?  And what difference will November’s US presidential election make?

Professor White’s address will be discussed by Professor Rouben Azizian, Centre of Defence and Security Studies and Massey University and Chair of

Attendance is free. Pre-registration is required.

About Professor Hugh White AO

Hugh White AO is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University. His work focuses primarily on Australian strategic and defence policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, and global strategic affairs especially as they influence Australia and the Asia-Pacific. He has served as an intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessments, as a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald, as a senior adviser on the staffs of Defence Minister Kim Beazley and Prime Minister Bob Hawke, and as a senior official in the Department of Defence, where from 1995 to 2000 he was Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence, and as the first Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). In the 1970s he studied philosophy at Melbourne and Oxford Universities. He was the principal author of Australia’s 2000 Defence White Paper. His major publications include Power Shift: Australia’s future between Washington and Beijing, [2010], The China Choice: Why America should share power, [2012], Without America: Australia’s future in the New Asia [2017], and How to defend Australia [2019]

 About Professor Rouben Azizian

Rouben Azizian is a professor at Massey University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies. His major areas of expertise are Asia-Pacific security environment and architecture, diplomacy and conflict resolution, security sector governance and post-Soviet politics. Professor Azizian is also the Chair of the Auckland Branch of the NZIIA, Editor-in-Chief of the National Security Journal and member of editorial boards of various international academic journals. Previously he taught at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu (2002-2015) and the Department of Political Studies at the University of Auckland (1994-2001). Prior to becoming a full-time academic, Professor Azizian had an extensive career in the Soviet and later Russian Foreign Service, which included assignments in Nepal (1972-1978), Sri Lanka (1980-1985) and New Zealand (1991-1994). Professor Azizian has published several books as well as numerous book chapters, journal articles and working papers on Asia-Pacific security issues and post-Soviet policies and politics.

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