Friends or just neighbours?
You're probably wondering why an expatriate American living in the wilds of Western Australia is blogging at Asian Correspondent. Good question, I was wondering about that too. Anyway, here I am so I had better get with the program by writing something you want to read.
Is Australia part of Asia? While we're geographically right next door Australia is usually considered to be a continent to itself or is perhaps included with the islands of the Pacific as part of Oceania. With the majority of Australians having European ancestry we're also not Asian in terms of "race" or language. So really, no matter how look you at it Australia is not, strictly speaking, Asian.
The thing is, even if we're technically not part of Asia we do live in the neighbourhood and the notion of continents as geographic entities inhabited by different "races" is arbitrary and outdated anyway. With China and Japan our two biggest trading partners we are closely tied to Asia; short of some unforeseen upheaval in international trade these links are only going to grow stronger. I therefore expect that Australia's economy will over time be integrated into the much larger Asian economy, eventually making Australia, for all practical purposes, Asian.
Frankly, some less broadminded Australians will find the notion of Asianification, well, repugnant. But surely some Asians are put off by the thought of Aussies being part of Asia. As we move closer together will the Asians who vastly outnumber us embrace or merely tolerate us?