By David Vallance, an intern in the Lowy Institute's International Security Program, and Euan Graham, Director of the International Security Program.
The road to nuclear Armageddon is not straight.
The North Korea crisis has led commentators to reassess the conventional wisdom that, when it
Asian leaders will be watching Trump for reassurance that the US will be a democratic ally in the Indo-Pacific. Originally published in the Australian Financial Review (Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
China’s official state mouthpiece, the Xinhua news agency, last month declared 'Enlightened Chinese Democracy Puts the West In the Shade.' While Xinhua maintains the fiction that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its 89 million members represent the majority of the people, it also '
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe managed a canny mixture of deference and guile when he rushed to New York last November with a gold-embossed golf club to be the first foreign leader to meet the newly-elected Donald Trump.
The question now is whether Trump can return the favour as he
The city of Ternate in eastern Indonesia seems forgotten by time. Its quiet bustle is confined to the coastal fringes of Mount Gamalama, with its imperious presence. The most prominent building in the low-slung city is a monumental new mosque, minus two of its four minarets that fell down in a
Tiny children sit in a row on miniature wooden chairs, their attention focused on a television screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping in full oration mode, in incongruous juxtaposition beside the candyfloss-pink play castle of their kindergarten. In hospitals, patients have Xi beamed to the
At a biannual naval commanders’ conference in New Delhi last week, the Indian Navy’s top leadership cleared a new maritime deployment plan. In a bid to counter emerging challenges in the Indian Ocean littorals - in particular, the growing presence of Chinese warships and submarines in India’s
President Duterte returned last night from a three-day working visit to Japan, his second bilateral trip to Tokyo since taking office in June 2016. This visit took place only two weeks before Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will rub shoulders at the APEC meeting in Danang and Duterte
What will Donald Trump's message to Asia be when he travels from Hawaii to Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines from 3 to 14 November? It is safe to say that even his closest advisors don't know the answer to that question, which has host governments from Tokyo to Manila a bit anxious
Earlier this week, North Korea reaffirmed that its space program is ongoing and getting more ambitious. There have been six North Korean satellite launch attempts since 1998. Only two have placed satellites in orbit, and both satellites failed to transmit. Clearly, there is room for improvement, so
If effective strategy requires realistic aims, then America is in trouble. US officials have shown themselves to be pathologically overconfident in their ability to achieve political outcomes with military signals, and the outcome they’re trying to achieve is utterly unrealistic.
The much anticipated 19th Party Congress has come to a close in China after a week of painstakingly constructed public displays of Chinese Communist Party successes, goals, and virtues. Held every five years, the event offers rare insight into the intentions of the Chinese leadership and the future
Imposing sanctions always creates challenges. Sanctions provide targeted states with an excuse to shift blame onto outside forces. They tend to concentrate wealth into the hands of the most politically connected. They are rarely powerful enough to shift behaviour, especially when the behaviour being
The 19th Party Congress closed earlier this week with the announcement that 'Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era' would be enshrined in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) charter. This eponymous ideological contribution is the first since 'Deng Xiaoping Theory'
Defence ministers from across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as counterparts from the US, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand descended on Manila for the 11th ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) earlier this week. The meetings typically
In a landmark address that kicked off the 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping articulated his vision for China's future. The three-and-a-half-hour reading of the work report saw Xi wax poetic about the priorities of rejuvenating Chinese power and realising the Chinese Dream. Though Xi's
Recent terrorism-related developments in the Philippines could lead to an increased security threat to Australians in parts of Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia.
Earlier this year, ISIS had portrayed the Philippines as something of a success story to distract from its reverses
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly has been busy sending open letters to various foreign parliaments. Our letter seems specifically tailored, as the DPRK web-based news includes parts of the other letters that aren't included in the one sent to Australia. It seems we
In 2015, not long after the formation of the unprecedented national unity government between Timor-Leste's two largest parties, CNRT and Fretilin, senior CNRT Minister Agio Pereira commented on the country's remarkable transition from 'belligerent democracy' to a new era of consensus democracy.
The rhetoric emanating from Washington and Pyongyang may soon reach the point at which a peaceful resolution is no longer be possible. A year ago the chance of war on the Korean Peninsula would have been considered remote. Now, the call for a US pre-emptive strike is gaining support while North
Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha announced this week that top Facebook executives would be coming to Thailand to meet with Thai leaders. Facebook denied the story – Thai authorities have yet to offer an explanation of the misunderstanding, which follows a year of strained
As Interpreter readers will no doubt be aware, this is an exciting week for China-watchers as it marks the mid-term point for President Xi Jinping's time in office – that is, presuming he leaves his post after ten years, as is the custom.
This week the 19th Party Congress, Xi's mid-term
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the 'liberation of Marawi', and the Philippines military says Isnilon Hapilon, the Abu Sayyaf militant seen as Islamic State group's leader in southeast Asia, and Omar Maute, another senior militant, are dead. But ISIS has not been wiped out in
Yesterday US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered his most substantial remarks on India to date, ahead of his first official trip to South Asia. While Tillerson’s influence in the Trump Administration is in considerable doubt, his speech pointed to yet more convergence between Washington and
By Euan Moyle, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Pacific Islands Program.
Sam Basil, leader of the Pangu Pati, has been appointed a Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy in the PNG Government, several weeks after he defected from opposition. PNG opposition MP Bryan
Myanmar links South and Southeast Asia and lies on maritime shipping routes from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. A key pillar of its national development agenda is establishing an efficient and integrated transport system to become Asia's newest maritime hub.
Recent political and economic reforms
There is little doubt that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is a populist. As I write in The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy, the Filipino leader has often presented himself as the voice of the people, the guardian of the nation, the shield against criminal
Nick Bisley is right to call for a clearer – and I would add more confident – Australian strategy towards China. But should this involve signing up to President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)? I am not convinced.
BRI is long on rhetoric and unclear in design. According to Xi,
To discuss what's driving Russia's Korea policy, we need a framework within which we can begin to understand Moscow’s motives regarding North Korea’s nuclearisation and the ensuing international crisis.
First, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and more broadly in
The visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India this September was much talked about in the context of the evolving Asian balance of power. Big ticket ventures including the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway were the highlight of the summit. But the larger issue of defence cooperation,
In a recent speech at the University of Adelaide's Confucius Institute, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Frances Adamson tackled the controversial issue of Chinese students in Australia. Her comments were both shrewd and part of a larger pattern of Australian government policy
Australia is in the midst of a vociferous debate over China. Reporting and commentary on Chinese Party-state sway over Australia's public and political institutions has been met by a strong pushback by those who emphasise the opportunities presented by China's influence. The
This post is based on Episode 14 of The Little Red Podcast featuring Glenn Tiffert from the University of Michigan, Dayton Lekner from the University of Melbourne, and Timothy Cheek and Morgan Rocks from the University of British Columbia.
Censorship of academic research in China is nothing new.
I have a modest proposal to make for Australia to directly engage with North Korea.
Australia maintains diplomatic relations with North Korea, but has no representation in Pyongyang. Instead, Australia's embassy in Seoul is cross-accredited, a common arrangement among countries that lack an
It’s difficult to see any future for Australia that does not involve China in a big way, whether it is in trade, services, investment, regional security, cultural exchange, and migration. It follows that ensuring a secure and prosperous future for Australia means getting the relationship with
Following US President Donald Trump's address on Afghanistan policy in August, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing that the US is willing to work with Pakistan 'one more time' in Afghanistan. In another hearing, General Joseph Dunford, Chairman
Xi Jinping, a politically daring, economically cautious, Chinese leader is certain to win a second five-year term at the 19th Party Congress, but his harsh line against his opponents, and his timidity on the economy, may come back to haunt him in his second term
Australia’s ties with Japan constitute one of the world’s most well-rounded bilateral relationships. The past decade alone has witnessed the achievement of several major milestones. Of particular significance has been the landmark Joint Defence and Security Cooperation (JDSC) agreement in 2007
China's recent move to close North Korean businesses operating in China is undoubtedly welcome news to Australian and US policymakers. However, this is should not be seen as a shift in China's approach to North Korea. Rather, it is a tactical manoeuvre – China's goals and interests regarding
Over the last month, almost half a million Rohingyas have fled from Rakhine State in Myanmar to Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. That represents approximately half of the entire Rohingya population in Myanmar. There are now 600,000 to 800,000 Rohingya refugees (officially designated as Undocumented
Angelina Jolie has directed and produced a terrifying film in First They Killed My Father, probably the best yet about Khmer Rouge-era Cambodia. Beautifully shot and wonderfully acted by an all-Cambodian cast, the Netflix film is a reminder of the horrors that killed nearly a quarter of the
The Trump administration's Afghanistan policy suggests that the United States will exert greater pressure on Pakistan, but no amount of US foreign assistance or coercion is likely to change Pakistan's behaviour, especially while its security establishment continues to view US
In the classic Cold War-era film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, aliens quietly invade earth by replicating the bodies of each human being they encounter. The resulting 'pod people' take on the physical characteristics, memories, and personalities of the humans they replace. In its day, the film was
With his dynastic heritage, five years of assertive nationalism as Prime Minister, and eponymous brand of economics, Shinzo Abe warrants a seat at the top table of global conservative politics.
But in his rush to an early election this week the Japanese leader will be counting on a boost from the