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Asia's Other Economic Miracle

australihighflying.jpg

We're used to hearing about China's amazing 30 year run of blistering GDP growth. But there's another Asian country that has enjoyed 21 straight years of economic growth: Australia.

That's right, it's been 21 years since Australia has had a recession. That is the longest "for any nation at any time," according to Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics.

What's the secret? China.

Australia has profited immensely from China's rise. Its mining industry serves as a key source of raw materials to fuel China's manufacturing industries. Australia's growth has also earned it the distinction of being the fastest growing rich nation in the world, according to Deloitte.

Yet with exports surging, Australia, like China, is trying to "rebalance" its economy to boost domestic consumption, an effort that has yet to yield much success.

And while Australia's economy is closely linked to China, the relationship is still marked by unease. Just today, Australia's central bank reported that it was attacked by hackers possibly operating in China. Australia recently agreed to station U.S. Marines at a base in Darwin and the country's strategic community has been engaged in a passionate debate (encapsulated well by Hugh White's The China Choice and the invaluable blog The Interpreteter) about the role it should play between China and the U.S.

(AP Photo)