ANU Emeritus Professor Peter Drysdale, ANU Vice-Chancellor Ian Young and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Photo by Stuart Hay.

ANU Emeritus Professor Peter Drysdale, ANU Vice-Chancellor Ian Young and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Photo by Stuart Hay.

Australia and its three best friends in Asia

The intriguing relationships between the US, China, Japan and Australia have been brought to the fore in recent months, as PROFESSOR HUGH WHITE AO explains.

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton believes the Australia-China relationship is interfering with a strategic pivot by the US in Asia. It has all the hallmarks of a major rift.

Professor Hugh White, from the ANU School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, says Australia's relationships with the US and China can no longer be kept separate.

"At least the Chinese accept that we have always had an alliance with the US," he says.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Australia earlier this year, including a trip to ANU in his itinerary, to continue his country's fledgling relationship with Australia.

White believes this relationship will be viewed with scepticism by China.

In this video below, White looks at the US-China relationship and suggests both Australia and Japan, along with countries such as Indonesia and India, will have their allegiances tested.