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China's rise changes strategic order of region

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-03 13:21

CANBERRA - Australia welcomes China's rise, but recognizes that it changes the strategic order of the region, according to Prime Minister Julia Gillard after the launch of the 2013 Defence White Paper on Friday.

The new white paper has toned down some of the more controversial judgments in the 2009 document, such as the warning on China's growing military power.

According to this paper released Friday, the relationship between China and the United States remains the biggest factor determining Australia's defence strategy.

It said that China and the US "remain the region's and the globe's two most powerful states" and Australia government "does not believe that Australia must choose between its longstanding alliance with the United States and its expanding relationship with China; nor do the United States and China believe that we must make such a choice."

"We also do want to see, as China modernises its military, transparency about that military modernisation," Gillard said. "We are here today being very transparent about Australia's defence posture and outlook, and we press for that kind of transparency."

And Defence Minister Stephen Smith said Thursday that "we want China to emerge as a responsible stakeholder... we want the atmosphere that sees that occur to be positive and constructive and that starts with the relationship between the US and China."

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