Australia and South Korea: Middle Powers in Uncharted Waters

As middle powers, what role can Australia and Korea play in promoting an open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region? How can the two countries continue to develop strong cooperative relations in the future?

2021 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between Australia and the Republic of Korea. Although separated by vast waters, these two countries have played a robust role in shaping the economic and security landscape of the Indo Pacific. As middle powers, they have relied on their strong alliances with the U.S to ensure regional security. However, the rise of an assertive China, as well as a recalibration towards domestic issues in the U.S, have forced them to navigate uncharted waters.

Earlier this year, the bilateral relationship between Korea and Australia was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Yet, as the Asia-Pacific enters a dangerous period of rivalry and tension, this strategic relationship may face some unique constraints and challenges.

Join Wongi Choe, Professor at Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) and Asia Society Australia-Korea Fellow, Jeffrey Robertson, a visiting fellow at the University of Melbourne's Asia Institute and Associate Professor at Yonsei University, and Hayley Channer, Senior Policy Fellow at Perth USAsia Centre, in conversation with Yvonne Kim, Executive Director of the Asia Society Korea Centre, on the strategic challenges and opportunities of middle powers in the region and the critical roles which Australia and Korea play in the Indo-Pacific.

Date: Wednesday 24 November 2021 Time: 3 - 4 p.m. AEDT Venue: Zoom Webinar

Please note this event will run as a webcast only. Registration is essential. For any enquiries, please contact