In first overseas trip as US President, Joe Biden has flagged he intends to rally European allies in a critical “battle between democracies and autocracies”, and “make it clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are tight”.
Biden is not the only one in the
Worker vs worker vs student
Almost five million Kiwis have always been at least cousins. And Scott Morrison’s distinctive contribution to regional security has been his embrace of about 10 million other islanders as “our Pacific family”.
But in a week of rhetoric about international
After a long period of uber-bipartisanship in the handling of China relations, Labor has opened a clear line of attack on the Morrison government.
Last month, at the Canberra launch of Nine columnist Peter Hartcher’s new book, The Red Zone, shadow foreign affairs minister Penny Wong said
During the 1970s and 1980s, when international terrorism was capturing global headlines and exercising the minds of governments and security experts, there were heated arguments over how to describe this kind of political violence. It was more than just a theoretical exercise, as a rigorous
The recent announcement that Bangladesh would provide US$200 million in aid to Sri Lanka is an important turning point as that country moves from being an impoverished supplicant towards an increasingly influential regional state. It is an outcome of years of high economic growth and points to Dhaka
There is an anxious wait for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to effectively intervene in Myanmar’s political crisis caused by the February 1 military coup. The Myanmar state is functionally failing. The country is spiralling into chaos with rising urban armed violence, civil war, a
Joe Biden is about to fly to the United Kingdom on his first foreign visit as US President. Biden will attend the G7 summit in Cornwall from 11–13 June, head to Belgium for summits with NATO and the European Union on 14–15 June, then meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Switzerland the
Earlier this month, 16 Chinese military transport aircraft were sighted a little more than 100 kilometres off the coast of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak. The Royal Malaysian Air Force called it “a serious threat to national sovereignty”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned China’s&
For years, Indonesia has been plagued by so-called “elastic laws” – a set of bills that can see a person indicted for violating poorly defined provisions, such as defaming an individual or group, religious blasphemy, committing treason, or inciting public disorder. Activists have pointed out
Southeast Asian governments are aware of the intersecting challenges of water security and disaster governance. The importance member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations place on this dual imperative is reflected in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead
While Australian exporters were shocked by the pace and extent of China’s trade sanctions last year, it now appears that investors were more quietly making their own exit.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) annual country data released last month shows that Australian
US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held their first in-person summit in Washington last month, signing a lengthy joint statement that underscored the linchpin alliance forged in the battlefields of the Korean War and a shared vision governed by democratic norms, human
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia last month, the official reason being to establish the grandly named Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council and give strategic direction to bilateral ties – yet in reality a scramble for the chance to reset relations between two
Recent media reports suggest that different perspectives on maritime boundaries are creating tensions between Australia and Indonesia. An Indonesian border negotiator told The Australian Financial Review last month that talks between Australia and Indonesia on maritime boundaries had restarted in
Beijing has long been anxious about the popularity of the Dalai Lama, and Tibet remains a principal source of international vulnerability for the Peoples Republic of China. After the Dalai Lama relinquished political responsibilities in 2011, the position of Sikyong, considered president of the
Recent developments suggest that both China and the United States are taking steps towards unravelling or “decoupling” their technology ecosystems. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the semiconductor industry, which manufactures the chips allowing everything from smartphones to cars to
Two weeks after the end of the hiatus on flights from India to Australia, the repatriation of the 9,000-plus Australian citizens who wish to return home has resumed, albeit slowly. But the repercussions are immense: at least two Australian citizens died from Covid-19 in India in recent weeks, and
The 2016 presidential race in the Philippines looked like the perfect time for Rodrigo Duterte to come to power. The country was coming off of Noynoy Aquino’s soft and ineffectual presidency, and there was a sweeping sense that voters were keen on the unconventional. In stepped Duterte, who spoke
Thailand emerged from the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic as one of the best performing countries in the world in terms of minimising cases and deaths. But 2021 has been a different story.
A surge in infections since the beginning of April has seen thousands of new cases each day and a spike
The deteriorating situation in Myanmar has led some observers to issue warnings of a “new Syria”. The two scenarios are not without broad similarities. In mid-April, civilians in Myanmar were being killed at a higher rate than in 2011 Syria, when a crackdown on protests sparked a brutal civil
Last year, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in launched a climate-change policy branded as a “Green New Deal” as part of a wider stimulus package for the country’s pandemic-afflicted economy. This sat alongside a commitment to achieve a net-zero carbon emissions target by the year 2050
Indonesia’s public debate over the issue of Palestinian rights was reawakened by the latest violence, which claimed at least 243 lives in Gaza and 12 in Israel before an eventual ceasefire. Social media was especially animated by vehement arguments as most Indonesians – 86.7% of whom identify as
A video recently surfaced on social media in Papua New Guinea, featuring a group of about 20 men, gathered around their apparent leader, declaring war on Indonesia.
“People of East Sepik,” the leader says, referring to one of the two provinces which stretch along PNG’s northern coastline
South Korean President Moon Jae-in received a boost in his outreach to North Korea last week after talks with US President Joe Biden. Biden announced he would be open to a summit with North Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un on the proviso that Kim would be willing to give up his nuclear weapons during a
It has been a month since the ASEAN Leaders met with Myanmar junta Leader Min Aung Hlaing on 24 April in Jakarta to discuss the situation in Myanmar. The meeting itself and the outcome of it – the Five-Point Consensus – has been applauded by some as a rare win for ASEAN, given its limitations in
A recent report in the Sydney Morning Herald found that Australian media outlets quote the Global Times more often than they quote either China’s President Xi Jinping or members of the Chinese embassy in Canberra. This diet from a daily tabloid – viewed in the media industry as a source of
On 20 March, the Philippine government’s National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea reported that more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels, with suspected members of China’s maritime militia on board, had congregated around Juan Felipe Reef (aka Whitsun Reef) and appeared to be neither
It may not have been intended, but a map deep inside last week’s federal budget papers seems to sum up the Australian government’s economic diplomacy strategy: preparing for life after China.
While it is titled “top export destinations”, arrows zoom to all major trading
The cyclone which hit Timor-Leste on 4 April was traumatising. We were awakened at 3 am by heavy rain and winds gusting at more than 125km/hour. Water began to flood into our house, and 15 minutes later we had to escape by swimming. The water reached almost two metres. Throughout, I had to keep
The term “political science,” as many have observed, is somewhat of an oxymoron. Of all fields of scholarly pursuit, politics is comparatively ill-suited to the processes of the scientific method. Political systems and policies cannot exactly be isolated in a laboratory. The “data sets” of
There is a curious parallel between Hong Kong and London as financial centres in potential decline due to the recent loss of a unique position.
Historically both cities were crucial nodes in the global network of the British Empire. More recently both functioned at a critical junction between the
Russia and China’s verbal sparring with the US over competing visions of multilateralism last week in the UN Security Council exemplified the closer ties forged over recent years between Moscow and Beijing.
The burgeoning relationship undoubtedly offers mutual advantage for both countries –
The “DarkSide” ransomware cyber-attack on the US-based gasoline facility Colonial Pipeline, which has disrupted East Coast fuel supplies and invoked emergency legislation, has once again highlighted the vulnerability of a nation’s critical infrastructure to malicious cyber activity. In
In early 1989, I was passing through Bangkok when a friend from a Western embassy invited me to what she called “a secret meeting”. She knew that I was a Myanmar-watcher, but what interested her most was the fact that I had published a couple of books on terrorism and urban guerrilla warfare.
Images of the pandemic in Delhi that currently saturate the international media depict ailing patients struggling to find beds, oxygen and medical attention. Amid a highly privatised healthcare terrain with underfunded public hospitals, access to Delhi’s hospitals has long depended on one’s own&
Since his death on 13 April, tributes to former Australian foreign minister and leader of the federal opposition Andrew Peacock have flowed from across the political divide. He has been remembered as a huge figure who left an “indelible” mark on Australia in the 1970s and 1980s. Former Liberal
US President Joe Biden will later this month hold his first face-to-face meeting as president with his South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-in. In the lead-up to the 21 May meeting, the United States has announced the preliminary results of its North Korea policy review. Although lacking in
In a virtual meeting with a group of African students in late April, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked a question, implicitly, about China: “Are they bringing their own workers with them, or are they giving jobs to people in the country where they’re making investments?”
It has long been conventional wisdom that China would struggle to become an innovative nation. China’s controlled society, with lack of freedom of speech and expression, propaganda and censorship, together with an education system that emphasises rote learning and memorisation have been judged to
Aware of China’s unprecedented economic and military rise and its ambition to become a global power, and recognising the shift in the centre of international political and economic gravity away from the Atlantic, the European Union is crafting a strategy for the Indo-Pacific, which it defines as
There is a consensus among Southeast Asian governments on the need for multi-hazard disaster governance approaches. It is reflected in ASEAN member states’ efforts to strengthen their collective capacity to tackle the growing interconnection of risks and the cascading impacts and transboundary
First it was new carbon emission cuts, and then a global minimum corporate tax. But it is hard to beat the Biden administration’s move to shaft the pharmaceutical industry lobby over vaccine patents for putting the US back at the heart of global public policy.
The devil will be in
A handwritten slogan can be spotted on cardboard posters at stalls across the Philippines: “Give according to your means, take according to your need.” These are makeshift community pantries, ad hoc efforts that provide free items such as rice, vegetables, canned goods and even facemasks
The Biden administration recently announced it had completed its North Korea policy review. The White House, through several public statements in recent days, dropped crumbs of details about its approach towards the Kim Jong-un regime and its advancing nuclear weapons program. Depending on the
As India grapples with an apocalyptic Covid-19 crisis at home, the Modi government put a temporary halt on its “Vaccine Maitri” (vaccine friendship) program shipping millions of vaccine doses abroad.
India had set itself an ambition to become a regional and, indeed, a global
Among Russia, Middle East–North Africa, China and North Korea watchers, there’s a recurrent debate – one responsible for snide comments at conferences, heated social media arguments and even, from what I’ve witnessed, physical altercations. It revolves around one question: Can you be an
India was proud to boast about being the “world’s pharmacy” as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, particularly after other members in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue asked India to mass-produce Covid-19 vaccines for export across the world. Indeed, high-minded government decrees about