Australians will not be "passive bystanders" as the United States and China work through their trade differences, Scott Morrison will proclaim.
"We should not just sit back and passively await our fate in the wake of a major power contest," the prime minister will tell a Bloomberg event in Sydney today (Wednesday).
"This underestimates and gives up on the power of human, state and multilateral agency.
"There are practical steps that we can pursue. So we will play our part. We will not be passive bystanders."
The comments come as the leader is preparing to attend a G20 summit in Japan's Osaka later this week.
Mr Morrison will argue that all nations, including China and the US, have a responsibility to modernise and support the rules-based trading system, to better cope with the challenges it is facing.
"The rules-based system is in need of urgent repair if it is to adequately respond to these new challenges, including the rise of large emerging economies, changing patterns of trade and new technologies."
He will stress Australia is keen to continue strengthening its relationships with both the US and China and urge people not to view the trade issues through a "binary prism".
"We can support these efforts and outcomes by rejecting the fatalism of increased polarisation and resisting the analysis that only sees these issues through a binary prism," Mr Morrison will say.
"It is in no-one's interest in the Indo-Pacific to see an inevitably more competitive US-China relationship become adversarial in character."
As Australia grapples with the issue, Mr Morrison will say it will be driven by its commitment to open markets and trade relationships based on rules, rather than coercion.
It will also take an approach which builds resilience and sovereignty, respects international low and the peaceful resolution of disputes, and shows a commitment to cooperation and burden-sharing.
Australia shares common ground with other nations dealing with the trade tensions, such as Japan, India, New Zealand, Indonesia and Papua New Guinaa, he'll add.
"These shared challenges create important common ground, which is where I see Australia continuing to play an important role.
"So we won't be fazed, intimidated or fatalistic."
The prime minister will also use the Sydney address to emphasise the focus Australia is putting on its relationships in the Indo-Pacific.
"It is where we have our greatest influence and can make the most meaningful impact and contribution," Mr Morrison will say.
"While comfortably understated in our approach, we do not underestimate our influence, especially if we choose to focus and target our contributions where we can have the greatest impact.
"We are a standard bearer for democracy and the rule of law."
Australian Associated Press