Saturday 26 Sep 2020 | 13:40 | SYDNEY
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Asia

Getting the juice to flow in Afghanistan's private sector

It is widely acknowledged that private sector growth is essential to increasing the amount and variety of economic opportunities in any given society. In fragile economies such as Afghanistan, private sector development plays an essential role in recovery and progress, providing livelihoods and

Li’s Australia visit: ‘Nothing to be afraid of’

Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at Davos in January presented China as the natural protector of the global order after the abdication of the US from the position. Premier Li Keqiang's four-day visit to Australia (which starts today) will demonstrate that China is still keen on presenting

What to expect from Li Keqiang’s Australia trip

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's week-long visit to Australia (and New Zealand) comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity spurred by US President Donald Trump's disruption of the international relations equilibrium. Li's main objective is promoting trade and investment, particularly through President

Dear foreign policy elite: You’re obsolete

Rex Tillerson recently completed his first trip to Beijing as Secretary of State. Since then, a slew of critics have panned Tillerson for supposedly handing China a ‘diplomatic victory’ because a joint media conference includes phrases like ‘win-win’ and ‘mutual respect’ - notions these

Defending the liberal order takes more than rhetoric

Julie Bishop’s recent speech in Singapore was out of date and stale. Her remarks exhibited two major and ongoing flaws in the government’s foreign policy thinking. The first is the persistent lack of substance in the Turnbull government’s response to both China’s challenge to the status quo

Modi strengthens his hand in India and abroad

On 11 March, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won an overwhelming victory in state elections in Uttar Pradesh. In India, there are few more significant political prizes. Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state, home to over 200 million people, and the original

The Rohingya tragedy: Time to talk to the Tatmadaw

Rakhine State is the home of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, a group often described as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Traveling through this region is an exercise in restriction, but also revelation. It's clear the current policy settings of international governments have 

China's defence spending: What's behind the slowdown?

China’s 2017 defence budget, announced earlier this week at the National People's Congress in Beijing, has the lowest rate of increase in years. At 7%, it is lower than the 7.6% for 2016, and represents the second year in a row that growth in defence spending has been kept below 10%, which has

North Korea goes its own way on missile tests

For any nation, testing space rockets or ballistic missiles is a long and tortuous process. It’s usually littered with a string of failures. The challenge for any program is deciding when a system has been tested enough to be declared operational. Boffins who watch North Korea’s broad stable

South Korea lost without its mojo

Last week I visited the Republic of Korea (ROK), where I had the opportunity to meet with officials, think tankers and journalists. My impression is that South Koreans feel set upon. And why wouldn’t they? A year ago, the country seemed to be ticking along quite nicely, with a stable political

Abe's Trump moves: Proactive pragmatism at its finest

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has accomplished what no other foreign leaders has with US President Donald Trump. Not only has he already met him twice — once before and again just after the inauguration — but Trump appears to genuinely like Abe. Of course, the state of US-Japan relations

Why Australia and Japan need a Plan B

Concern over the possible decline of US power and the resilience of its commitment to underwriting security in Asia is not new. In the post-1945 period, doubts over Washington’s commitment to maintaining a leadership role in the region have followed President Nixon’s shift to the Guam Doctrine

Time for ADB members to rethink their approach

The Lowy report by Annmaree O’Keeffe, Jonathan Pryke and Hannah Wurf on Strengthening the Asian Development Bank in the 21st Century is an important document. It is one of the best, independent reports on the Asian Development Bank currently available in Australia.  Unfortunately that is easy

Democracy in Indonesia: A cause for celebration

Prior to Indonesia holding 101 local elections across the nation, Islamic leaders and the National Police publicly urged citizens to stay united. National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian asserted that differences 'are common in a democracy'. He said: 'You may have different candidate preferences

The 'China Solution': Beijing responds to Trump

A draft Trump Administration executive order threatening cuts to America’s UN funding, not least for peacekeeping, has been circulating since late January. Days before it emerged, People’s Daily carried yet another op-ed on the 'China Solution', hailing ‘the glory it sheds on the cause of

US signals to China from Darwin with F-22s

Last Friday’s statement from Defence Minister Marise Payne that a squadron of US Air Force F-22 Raptors was arriving at RAAF Base Tindal to begin a rotation under the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) agreement sparked surprisingly little media interest. The announcement, made on the very day of

Living with terror in Lahore

It's been some time since I lived on Mall Road near Lahore's busy Mayo Hospital which treats most emergency cases but ambulance sirens still wake me at night, a feature now sometimes of nightmares where I see again the dead bodies and terror victims I have reported on through the years. On 15

North Korea: The case for engagement

Earlier this month the Lowy Institute's International Security Program, supported by the Korea Foundation, hosted the Australia-Republic of Korea (ROK) Emerging Leaders International Security Forum in Sydney and Canberra, bringing together scholars and future policymakers focused on the

Will the Western Pacific’s long peace endure?

The security picture in the Western Pacific is marked by maritime boundary disputes, nationalist enmities and rapidly modernising militaries. Against that backdrop, the prolonged absence of war between states poses an analytical conundrum. How has the region stayed so peaceful for so long?

North Korea: Not yet ready to change from within

Last week the Lowy Institute's International Security Program, supported by the Korea Foundation, hosted the Australia-Republic of Korea (ROK) Emerging Leaders International Security Forum in Sydney and Canberra, bringing together scholars and future policymakers focused on the bilateral

Pax Sinica no match for fading Pax Americana

US President Donald Trump's decision to turn inward should present a perfect opportunity for Asia to step into the regional vacuum and begin fulfilling the much-discussed but still elusive promise of the Asian Century. However, it looks unlikely that the region will be able to capitalise on the

The limitations of framing North Korea as a risk

Last week the Lowy Institute's International Security Program, supported by the Korea Foundation, hosted the Australia-Republic of Korea (ROK) Emerging Leaders International Security Forum in Sydney and Canberra, bringing together scholars and future policymakers focused on the bilateral

Australia and South Korea: Time to expand co-operation

This week the Lowy Institute's International Security Program, supported by the Korea Foundation, is hosting the Australia-Republic of Korea (ROK) Emerging Leaders International Security Forum in Sydney and Canberra, bringing together scholars and future policymakers focused on the bilateral

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