The US government released its Indo-Pacific Strategy in February 2022, which fleshes out its policy priorities in the region. This document is based on the ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ concept announced by previous president Donald Trump in 2017.
China’s challenges amid COVID-19 and great power competition
China has adopted key steps to continue integration with the regional and global economy, sending a strong political signal to the outside world on reform. China signed the trade liberalising Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which will be implemented at the beginning of 2022.
Despite spectacular bounce-back growth in the first half of the year, China’s economy had slowed dramatically by year’s end. Worries centred on the property market, a perennial concern for over a decade due to fears of overheating.
Australia must learn to navigate the economic realities of China relations
Australia’s export of 12 disrupted goods to China slumped by a combined US$12.6 billion in 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. China’s total import values increased for seven of the 12 goods, with many other countries picking up the lost Australian sales.
China’s rapid growth since its accession to the WTO — per capita incomes are now well over four times as high today as they were in 2001 — was the single most important poverty-reducing event of the past century