Arguably the most important fact about contemporary Australian foreign policy is that, for the first time in our history, Australia's major trading partner is a peer competitor of our major ally. Previously the UK, then the US and in more recent times Japan were not only our chief foreign economic partners, but also closely aligned to Australia on questions of defence and security. Today, our major trading partner, China, has strategic interests that are, at best, in tension with those of the US, Japan and Australia, if not outright inimical to them.
Since The Interpreter began in 2007, China's rise has been the single most prominent theme on this site. And within that larger story, The Interpreter has also charted the debate about how Australia should conduct its relations with China. We are proud to have encouraged a diverse debate among some of our most eminent and prominent scholars, policy-makers and commentators, helping to make The Interpreter an integral part of Australia's foreign policy conversation.
In earlier years, that conversation was confined to policy elites, but in recent months we have seen it hit the mainstream, thanks to stories such as the Ausgrid decision and the Dastyari case. With the Australia-China relationship now so prominent in the national political debate, we thought this was the perfect moment to look back on nine years of Interpreter coverage of this key issue.