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Politics

On being allied to Trump's America

Australia struggles for alternatives to long-standing partnership

| China
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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, right, stands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong for their countries' national anthems before an official luncheon in Canberra on March 23.   © Reuters

For the first time in two generations, Australians are contemplating life without the American alliance. Alternatives to this long-standing pillar of Australian foreign and strategic policy are being pitched by influential commentators, media and think tanks.

But perhaps the most striking view came from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after his March 23 arrival in Australia for a five-day visit. Australia, he said, should not have to choose between its biggest trading partner, China, and its main ally, the U.S. "We respect your choices in your foreign policy," Li said in Canberra, noting that China did not want to see countries "taking sides, as happened during the Cold War."

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