Australia’s place in the global economy is more than ever linked to Southeast Asia. The relationship has become more complex because of the eurasianization of the Australian continent and increased conflict between the two areas. Australian-bashing by Southeast Asian regimes has become common, much of this sparked by criticism by important segments of Australia’s civil society of abuse of human rights in Southeast Asia. Australia’s response has been subdued and apologetic.
Conflicts with Southeast Asia highlights a clash between countries who do not share common values about individuals’ political and civil rights. Changes in the role of the Australian state and its response to Asia question the sustainability of Australia’s open society.