Wednesday 20 Nov 2019 | 18:02 | SYDNEY
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Asia and Pacific

Decades of impressive economic growth and stability, combined with the emergence of China and India as major powers, have significantly transformed patterns of competition and cooperation within the Asia-Pacific region. The economic and strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region, especially in this 'Asian Century', is increasing rapidly in the international arena. The Lowy Institute's diverse team of experts charts the political, strategic and economic dynamics defining the region, its importance to Australia, and its place on the global stage.

Australia-PNG: A partnership of equals

Australia and Papua New Guinea enjoy a special relationship – one of mutual affection, shared history and shared geography. Today, as they have for more than two decades, ministers will meet at the Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum to build even closer ties for the years ahead. The Australia-

An uneasy and uncertain calm in Bangkok

An uncertain calm has descended on Bangkok. This follows more than a week of increasingly violent protests in what has marked another chapter in the long-running saga of the Shinawatra family's rule. The calm began when embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra instructed the security services

New Caledonia wrestles with its future

In October, the New Caledonian Committee of Signatories to the Noumea Accord quietly released a document which will have important consequences for Australia and the South Pacific region. At first glimpse, the discussion paper, Reflexions sur l'avenir institutional, would be easy for those

US should resist China's ADIZ, but...

Commenting on Paul Keating’s speech about China’s strategic responsibilities in Asia, Michael Green asks how, under my model of an Asian concert of powers, America should respond to China’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ). It is a good question. China’s move is a clear attempt use

Reader riposte: China is not seeking to dominate

Kien Choong writes: I wonder if Crispin Rovere speaks authoritatively as an expert in Chinese history or is simply pontificating. My modest understanding of Chinese history is that China has rarely been militarily dominant outside its borders, with much of its history trying to keep the '

When Aung San Suu Kyi comes to call

At one level, Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Australia last week was all high praise, inspiring speeches and standing ovations. At another level, it was hard-headed politics, diplomatic signals and muted criticisms. At times, history was simplified or re-written to suit the occasion. In other words,

Australia-Japan: Abbott uses the 'A' word

I am happy to fess up for making quite a lot of noise about Tony Abbott's depiction of Japan as Australia's 'best friend' in Asia. And I have to admit that there are comments from leading figures in previous governments which are not a million miles far from that lofty mark. For example, during

Keating prescriptions not part of Beijing's script

In his speech to the 21st Century Council in Beijing, former prime minister Paul Keating has once again demonstrated his adroit perception for the nature of these times and the direction of our century. If Keating’s prescriptions are adopted by China, we may all look forward to a more peaceful

Bangkok protest latest instalment in long-running crisis

The current street demonstrations in Bangkok are best understood as a continuation of a political upheaval dating back to 2006 and the ousting of the elected caretaker government of Thaksin Shinawatra by an army coup. Subsequent events, most notably the Yellow Shirt occupation of Bangkok's airports

Chinese footprints on the Moon

China has launched its first spacecraft bound for the surface of the Moon. The Chang'e-3 mission will deploy a rover and conduct astronomical observations.This will be the first spacecraft from any nation to land on the Moon since 1976, breaking a long drought of touchdowns. The mission is also

Hope for expanded Australia-PNG links

While the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship is currently strong, we need only look at the Indonesia spy scandal to understand how vulnerable Australia’s official relationships in the neighbourhood are to shocks. The Australia-PNG relationship went through its own difficulties during the era

Vietnam's foreign policy: Fewer enemies, more friends

Amid Vietnam's domestic volatility, there has been much foreign policy manoeuvring. In October, an agreement was reached with China to establish a working group on maritime disputes, and earlier this month, Vietnam signed 17 separate agreements on military and economic ties with Russia while

Keating speech exposes 'China Choice' flaws

I have been trying to understand how it is that Australia is the only US ally in Asia where former heads of state embrace the thesis that the US must gracefully surrender primacy in the Asia Pacific and seek accommodation with Beijing. No former prime minister of Japan (not even the loopy Yukio

ADIZ: Australia right to speak plainly

Julie Bishop’s deliberate move to make plain Australia’s view on China’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea can be interpreted in two ways. Rob Ayson thinks it’s a blunder in which Australia is needlessly provoking China and presenting itself as part of a

China's Peace Ark: For the record

With its sudden announcement of an unorthodox aerial ‘defence identification’ zone, along with its aircraft carrier’s first voyage into the South China Sea, China continues to send troubling signals about its strategic intentions in Asia. From a Chinese national interest point of view, this

Reader riposte: In defence of China's air-defence zone

Michael Li responds to Jerry Nockles' article: The claim that the greatest danger of China's rise is miscalculation is correct, but surely the creation of an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) adds, rather than subtracts, the transparency that is necessary to build up a mutually acceptable

Indonesia's strange, promising 'code of ethics' gambit

Responding to Prime Minister Abbott's letter on the spying controversy on Tuesday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono floated the idea of a 'code of ethics' to set the bilateral relationship on a new footing. SBY gave very few details of what such a code would contain, though presumably it would

East China Sea: Australia digs an even deeper hole

It would be entirely appropriate for the Australian Government to call in China's ambassador to explain why Beijing was harming Australia's interests in a very obvious way. If China offered major military aid to PNG and explained that it expected Port Morseby's support in changing the balance of

Paul Keating on China's responsibilities

Introductory note from Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Fullilove: In an Interpreter exclusive, we reproduce below an address given by former Prime Minister Paul Keating to the 21st Century Council in Beijing on 3 November. This short speech has not been published elsewhere and it has

Australia and the Burma/Myanmar name debate

Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to Australia this week will throw into sharp relief several aspects of Australia's relationship with Burma. One will be the name by which her country is known. Ever since 1989, when Burma's military government changed the English name of the country to Myanmar, there have

Kurt Campbell's 2013 Owen Harries Lecture

Last Thursday's inaugural Owen Harries Lecture by former US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell will live long in the memory of the packed audience at the Lowy Institute, and not just for the Madeline Albright-Alexander Downer anecdote which closed the event. Yes, diplomacy can be funny, but

China's ideological deficit

This is the third part of my interview with Damien Ma and William Adams, co-authors of In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity will Define China's Ascent in the Next Decade. Part 1 looked at the main theme of their book, scarcity in China, and in part 2 I questioned Ma and Adams on whether

China-Taiwan diplomatic rivalry gives way to new maturity

Philippa Brant is a Lowy Institute Research Associate. Gambia recently announced it had terminated diplomatic ties with Taiwan after eighteen years. This marks the first diplomatic ally Taiwan has lost since Malawi in December 2007, and leaves Taipei with only 22 states with which it has an

*SBY*, the tweeting president

The second round of the Australia-Indonesia spying stoush has now rolled on for a week, and attention is turning to the longer term implications for the relationship. As I've written elsewhere, I feel the row exposed Prime Minister Abbott's failure to take sufficient heed of Indonesia's domestic

Why Indonesia is angry, and what to do about it

Greta Nabbs-Keller is a Brisbane-based consultant who has recently submitted a PhD examining the impact of democratisation on Indonesia's foreign policy. To construe Indonesia's response to the Snowden intelligence leaks purely in terms of 'chest-thumping' or as an appeal to domestic political

The boats and the dreams of those aboard

Remember those two journalists found on-board an asylum-seeker boat off Christmas Island in September? If you want to know what they were doing there and what they saw and heard, read the phenomenal piece of journalism they produced, published last weekend in the NY Times Magazine. The writing by

Will Asia's rapid growth continue?

Convergence – the catch-up process whereby poor economies grow substantially faster than the mature economies – may be the most important economic story in the past fifty years. It is transforming the world, shifting hundreds of millions out of abject poverty while simultaneously shifting the

Diplomatic fallout from the latest Snowden revelations

The Guardian and the ABC have released information from Edward Snowden alleging that the Australian Defence Signals Directorate (DSD, now the Australian Signals Directorate) targeted the mobile phones of a number of senior Indonesian officials — including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono — 

Is Australia defendable?

James Goldrick has raised two very important issues in his latest contribution to our conversation about maritime strategy for Australia*. The first concerns the circumstances under which serious threats to Australia’s trade routes might occur. I had earlier argued that serious powers were most

Secrecy, intellectual property and the TPP

WikiLeaks has turned its attention to the Trans Pacific Partnership. The press, in Australia and overseas, has noticed.  The Interpreter has previously drawn attention to the complex issues (some would say the downside concerns) of the Trans Pacific Partnership. The negotiations can be seen as

Maritime strategy: Don't forget about supply

Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AO, CSC is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of NSW in Canberra (ADFA). Hugh White has responded to my critique of his views on maritime warfare and the

China in motion

Yes, time-lapse videos of exotic locales have become something of an online cliche, but that doesn't mean we can't acknowledge the good ones. This one was created from the work of 56 photographers in 49 Chinese cities. (H/t The Atlantic

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