By Invitation

Australia's telling silence on US role in Asia

The absence of previous staunch support of American leadership reflects changed views on US-China confrontation

ST ILLUSTRATION : MANNY FRANCISCO

Sometimes what is left out of a major policy speech is as important as what is actually said. That was certainly true when Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne spoke about regional security in Singapore recently.

The theme of his keynote address was the challenge to the "rules-based order" in Asia posed by China's growing power and influence, and by the escalating US-China contest, which he described as the "defining great-power rivalry of our time".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2019, with the headline 'Australia's telling silence on US role in Asia'. Print Edition | Subscribe