Susannah Patton

Director, Southeast Asia Program, Lowy Institute

Susannah Patton is director of the Southeast Asia Program and lead researcher for the Asia Power Index at the Lowy Institute.

 

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport ahead of G20 Summit, Bali, Indonesia, 14 November 2022. (Fikri Yusuf/G20 Media Center/Handout via Reuters)

Australia far more wary of China than SEA nations despite thawing relations

Susannah Patton, director of the Southeast Asia Program at Lowy Institute, reflects on the thaw in Australia-China relations, surmising that the resumption of dialogue may mean Australia is no longer a regional outlier. But unchanging imperatives may see Australia’s continued investment in capabilities for the regional deterrence of China, which may worry some in Southeast Asia.
Soldiers fire 155mm howitzers during an annual live fire military exercise in Pingtung, Taiwan, 9 August 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

SEA's great power 'neutrality' risks being pro-China and anti-US

Susannah Patton, director of the Southeast Asia Program at Lowy Institute, asserts that though they seem to be taking a neutral stance, many Southeast Asian countries’ responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and increasing US-China tensions on Taiwan have in fact affirmed narratives that are implicitly more critical of the US and other G7 countries. This may help to shape a regional environment that is far too permissive of aggression and coercion — the precise scenario that the countries hope to avoid.