From Australia’s perspective, and in spite of the global economic crisis, an increasingly strong China will remain the dominant theme in Asia’s evolving distribution of power. Australia has benefited from the prosperity which is the foundation of China’s rise. But it continues to value the reassurance that a strong United States can bring to Asia. This favourable status quo seems superior to the alternatives: a cooperative Asian community which may be more aspirational than practicable; an Asian concert which requires an unlikely sharing of leadership between the great powers; or a coalition of Asian democracies which could be especially divisive. But as this comfortable status quo is strained, Australia may need to consider geopolitical options which until now have appeared fanciful and risky.