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Australians choose US ties over China- Poll
June 24, 2013, 8:16 am

 Chinese premier Li Keqiang (right) and Australian prime minister Julia Gillard [Xinhua]

Chinese premier Li Keqiang (right) and Australian prime minister Julia Gillard [Xinhua Images]

More Australians place a higher value on the country’s relationship with the US than with China, 48 per cent compared with 37 per cent, a poll showed on Monday.

Although, a majority of Australians see China as the most important economy to Australia.

The Lowy Institute for International Policy on Monday released the results of its annual Poll on Australian attitudes to the world.

The poll revealed that Australians still overwhelmingly support the alliance with the US, and support for basing US forces in Australia has increased to 61 per cent, up six points from that of 2011.

Fifty-seven per cent of Australians think that Australia is allowing too much investment from China.

Official data from Australia’s foreign investment regulatory body the Foreign Investment Review Board, however, shows Chinese investment accounted for less than three per cent of overseas investment into Australia in 2011.

The vast majority, 87 per cent, of Australians say it is possible for Australia to have a good relationship with China and the United States at the same time.

“The 2013 Lowy Institute Poll illustrates why a central policy issue for future Australian governments will be managing the Australia-United States-China strategic triangle, “said executive director of the Lowy Institute Dr Michael Fullilove.

“Australians think it is possible to have good relations with both Washington and Beijing, but whether this optimism is warranted will depend in part on skilled Australian statecraft,”Fullilove said.

In 2012 the Australian government published a White Paper on ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ explaining Australia’s pivot towards growth engines like China and India.

Meanwhile, in continuation with Australia’s China policy, Wayne Swan, Australia’s deputy prime minister and treasurer, in March said the country is providing active support for the internationalisation of the Renminbi (RMB), China’s official currency.

“The deepening relationship between China and Australia will continue to be one of the defining features of Australia’s economic story in the Asian century,” the minister said.

The Lowy Institute surveyed 1,002 Australian voters by telephone in March.

Source: Agencies