Australia in the Asian Century

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Personal Reflection

There are many key points that can be found in the Australia in the new century white paper which was released by the labour government in 2013. It highlights the fact that Australia is on Asia’s doorstep, which will impact on Australia in a large way in the next century. The paper explains the need for Australia to develop a deeper understanding of Asia through economic and cultural means. It tells us that there is a growing middle class emerging through Asia especially in China. It further explains how the middle class and growth rate in Asia will be demanding new technologies and resources. I found the paper to have a positive outlook towards Australia’s future and it’s business and economic power, however I wonder if Australia and its resources can provide for such an enormous demand.

Technology has dictated our lifestyle and ways communication through creativity and innovation. To invent anything of merit and longevity I believe that a deeper understanding of people via lifestyle and cultural perspectives must be used. For that reason I agree with what the paper says with pairing our knowledge and understanding of people and the world around us. The paper made me reflect on how as a society we look to protect our own country and people. As Australia begins to change again through the next century we should be embracing new ways of thinking and better ways of engaging. I feel this is the key for moving forward in both productive and modern ways.

It’s interesting to read what the opposing liberal political party has to say about policies and beliefs that the labour government states through the white paper. Australia’s current foreign minister Julie Bishop said “Rather than address the critical issues, the white paper is a brazen attempt at self congratulation that tries to make the argument that to take advantage of Asia’s growth we merely have to adopt Labor’s current policy agenda.”

The paper was taken down from the goverments website and placed in the national archives. Craig Emerson, who was a senior Labor minister said that he was surprised and disappointed the document and all its accompanying material had been taken from its website and sent to archives.

“Of course it’s the prerogative of any democratically elected government to apply its own policies towards Asia and not to be bound by those of a previous government,” Dr Emerson said. “But to take down the white paper and replace it with nothing sends a bad message to Asia.”

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