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Will Australia’s New Defense Minister Play Bad Cop to China?

A wildly disproportionate share of the world’s politicians get their start as lawyers. That’s especially true in parliamentary systems like Australia’s, where politicians have to work their way up through the party ranks. But Australia’s new defense minister, Peter Dutton, hails from the other side of the bar. He got his start in policing—serving on the vice squad, of all places. That experience may come in handy at defense. China is a serial violator of international maritime laws, and for a maritime country like Australia, that makes dealing with China just as much of a policing problem as a national security challenge.

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Sydney-based globalization expert Salvatore Babones is available to speak on the Chinese economy (demographics, growth, technology), the Belt & Road Initiative, global trade networks, and Australia-China relations. Contact: