Friday 07 Aug 2020 | 19:51 | SYDNEY
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Asia

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

India's stake in the Iran nuclear deal

India has been a helpless, hapless bystander to the Iranian nuclear dispute for the past ten years. Unlike, say, Turkey, India has played no part in the various rounds of negotiation with Iran. It has watched as its substantial oil imports from Iran have shrunk under pressure from sanctions, and

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

Riyadh's annus horribilis

As 2013 comes to a close, Saudi Arabia should be concerned that it is increasingly being seen as an observer of events that threaten to re-shape the region in ways that will weaken its standing. I am currently in Lebanon and the feeling of disappointment with Saudi Arabian leadership of the Arab

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

Time for Iran to reach out to Israel

Christopher Johnston is a fellow at Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon. Officials are hailing an interim agreement to halt or reverse key aspects of the Iranian nuclear program. Negotiations have concluded with

*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

What Q&A India tells us about Australia-India relations

Danielle Rajendram is a Lowy Institute research associate. Her work focuses on Indian foreign and domestic policy, India-China relations and Asian security. In case you missed it, this week’s episode of ABC’s Q&A was broadcast live from the Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon, India.  The

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

An Indian perspective on Australian maritime strategy

Abhijit Singh is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi. This post is part of a series arranged in conjunction with the Sea Power Centre. The Sea Power Centre’s new book A maritime school of Strategic thought for Australia - Perspectives brings

Typhoon Haiyan and the geopolitics of disaster relief

Amid the horrific human tragedy, it may feel heartless to speculate about the strategic consequences of the typhoon that has taken more than 10,000 lives in the Philippines. But you can be sure such thinking will be well underway within governments all around Asia and the wider Indo-Pacific, even

Bombings in Burma: The long view

Andrew Selth is a Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute and author of Burma and International Terrorism. The recent spate of terrorist bombings in Burma has not injured many people or caused much property damage, but it is a reminder of the country’s multi-faceted internal security

Documentary trailer: Tales from the Organ Trade

From the synopsis on the official website: TALES FROM THE ORGAN TRADE is a gritty and unflinching descent into the shadowy world of black-market organ trafficking: the street-level brokers, the rogue surgeons, the impoverished men and women who are willing to sacrifice a slice of their own

2014 a key year for Indonesia and the region

Peter McCawley is a Visiting Fellow in the Indonesia Project, Australian National University, and former Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo. Amid the current ups and downs of the Indonesia-Australia relationship we need to remember that while Australia has just had an election,

New Zealand, China and the new world order

Dr Andrew Butcher is Director of Research at the Asia New Zealand Foundation. 'New Zealand’s future is Asian, above all Chinese' wrote Martin Jacques during his recent visit to New Zealand. Buttressing his case were what he saw as unique New Zealand attributes: its significant Maori and

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