Australia has acted as a canary in a coalmine for European countries unaware of the impact of China's full economic might, with the UK foreign secretary calling the economic coercion a "wake up call".
Elizabeth Truss said China's capacity to coerce smaller, economically reliant states resulted in the need for trade diversification.
"I give credit to Australia here. The economic coercion we saw was one of the wake-up calls to what China was doing and the way it was using its economic might to try to exert control over other countries," she told the Lowy Institute on Friday.
Ms Truss said there was a need to work with countries in the Indo-Pacific, including through the establishment of free trade agreements, to increase regional security in the long term.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne pointed to ensuring secure and reliable supply chains throughout the Indo-Pacific.
"The Australia-UK relationship is primed for our present reality and focused on being in our respective futures not dominated by the will of authoritarian powers," she told the Lowy Institute.
"We will be strong allies, we will be steadfast friends, we will be working together to shape the kind of world that we want."
Ms Truss said a lack of opportunity for countries to access no-strings-attached investment would become a problem if they are forced to turn to financiers like China.
"It would be fantastic to see the US and the European Union doing more to make sure that countries have those alternatives," she said.
Ms Truss also floated Britain's willingness to join the trans-Pacific free trade agreement, but would not be drawn on whether the UK would push to join the Quad - a security alliance between Australia, the US, India and Japan.
"We are looking at all types of groupings we can be part of," she said.
"We are looking at what more we can do to have a visible presence in the region, as well as a greater degree of diplomatic engagement."
British submarines are set to frequent Australia more often as discussions ramp up over the nuclear-powered boat deal, with enhanced co-operation on cyber and defence forming the bulk of the AUKMIN discussions between Australia and the UK's defence and foreign affairs ministers on Friday.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton said there would be more visits, not from just the UK, but also the United States and potentially Germany along with some other European nations, as eyes shift towards China.
"We're seeing greater interest from even the Germans and other European nations, more people understand what is happening in terms of the coercion and bullying taking place within the Indo-Pacific," Mr Dutton said following the AUKMIN meeting.
"There are many countries who have that interest in making sure that they have a presence and that they express their own view about freedom and the continuation of what we know in the Indo-Pacific at the moment."
There is no proposal to base a UK submarine in Australia, he said.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain, the US and Australia were joined at the hip on delivering nuclear-propelled submarines under the AUKUS agreement.
"The strategic capability that Australia wishes is a step change that will absolutely set them apart as a leader in their field in this part of the world," Mr Wallace said.
"Nothing is off the table" in terms of expanding the co-operation, he added.
The head of the ANU National Security College said the holding of the strategic meetings in Australia amid enormous tensions in Europe was of obvious significance.
"We're more focused on the Indo-Pacific, but in the past 12 months, Britain has clearly rediscovered the Indo-Pacific, and the impact of China in particular as quite central to its long-term security," Rory Medcalf told the ABC.
Australian Associated Press
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