189 Embassy and the New Orthodoxy in Australian-Southeast Asian Relations* Stephen Frost Murdoch University, Australia The dominant Australian discourse on Asia has shifted (as proclaimed on a recent magazine cover), 'FROM YELLOW PERIL TO MAIN GAME' (Australian Left Review, 1992). Asia, once considered the 'yellow peril' by the Australian state, is today redefined as an essential component in its drive for economic recovery and stability. This 'new' Asia is primarily the outcome of an Asia mindedness that is culturalist in its construction of Asia and masks vested interests driven primarily by the doctrine of economic rationalism. Emerging from an economically driven and essentialist Asia mindedness is a 'politics of tolerance'; the formulation of government policy that is sensitive towards and tolerant of the internal and foreign policies of the regimes of our nearest neighbours. The consequences of foreign policy formulated by a politics of tolerance and driven by economic rationalism are manifold, but the most important is the accommodation of the programme of appeasement that is shaped by business and their allies who link cultural sensitivity to continued trade and investment. This is manifest in the widely held view that Australia has not only failed to understand Asia,
Asian Journal of Social Science – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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