The federal government has outlined plans to open more diplomatic missions in Asia but is not saying when this might happen.
Thegovernment's long-awaited Asian Century white paper, released on Sunday, acknowledges that Australia will need to boost its diplomatic 'footprint' in Asia to fully capitalise on the region's rapid rise.
It outlines plans to open a full embassy in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, and consulates in China's Shenyang, Thailand's Phuket and in Indonesia's east.
But it does not offer any funding or timeline for the plan, saying only the missions should be opened when 'circumstances allow'.
'Over time, we will continue to review our diplomatic representation in Asia to reflect new priorities, both in capital and regional cities,' the paper says.
The document also calls for better diplomatic architecture with China and India, meaning more regular meetings between leaders, senior ministers and business leaders.
Australia will also develop 'comprehensive country strategies' for the five Asian nations listed as the most important - China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.
'These strategies will set out the objectives and priorities for relationships across the whole community with each country,' the paper says.
It also says Australia will appoint a Jakarta-based ambassador to ASEAN to support better engagement with its 10 South-East Asian member nations.
It also calls for stronger ties between state and territory governments and their counterparts in the region, including through more sister-city and sister-state relationships.