Former Australian ambassador to China Dr Stephen FitzGerald threw brickbats at the Abbott Government this week.
In a guest post on John Menadue's blog, Fitzgerald took aim at the government for endangering Australia-China relations. He dates his criticism back to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's
In this workshop report Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Dr Malcolm Cook examines the bilateral relationships in Northeast Asia. He argues that ties between China and Japan, China and South Korea, and South Korea and Japan are in a period of fundamental change driven mainly by domestic and
Brendan Thomas-Noone is an intern in the Lowy Institute's International Security Program.
Global business leaders may be waking up to the growing tensions in the Indo-Pacific.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended India's Republic Day in New Delhi this week. Was China the reason?
For the past six months, there have been intermittent reports in the news media and on specialist websites stating that Burma (Myanmar) is developing a submarine capability. If this is true, it has important implications not only for Burma and the region, but also for the wider international
Gary Hogan brings a light touch to explaining the otherwise depressing oscillations of the Australian-Indonesian relationship, but his sine-wave theory conveys the wrong policy message. It's as if the oscillations are inevitable, even pre-ordained.
Of course there is a fair bit of reversion-to-
The fallout from a report on the secret offshore holdings of China's business, military and political elites continues.
In case you missed it, here's a brief summary of the report, compiled from leaked financial documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ):
How so-called 'leading small groups' help Xi Jinping and other party leaders exert power.
A US admiral concedes that China is encroaching on US dominance in the Pacific: 'Our historic dominance ... is diminishing, no question.'
China's soft power in North Korea. Also, would Beijing benefit
In what may be the clearest sign yet that Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama (pictured) intends to make good on his promise to hold elections in 2014, he has announced that he will resign as head of the military on 28 February and stand for election.
Bainimarama has promised that his
Sino-Japanese relations got off to a rocky start in January.
Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming kicked off a tit for tat diplomatic spat on the first day of the year. In the first paragraph of an op-ed published in The Telegraph, Liu likened Japanese militarism to Lord Voldemort, of
The week-long 'Shutdown Bangkok' campaign turned violent over the weekend, with two attacks marring otherwise peaceful protests.
A grenade attack on protesters near the historic Victory Monument on Sunday wounded 28 people. While on Friday, at Banthat Thong Road, another grenade attack wounded 35
As Syria stumbles into its third year of conflict, President Assad continues to bank on his belief that the longer he remains in power, the more likely that the opposition will be seen as a combination of Islamists, carpetbaggers, proxies and miscreants, and that the West will somehow reluctantly
The attempt on Monday 13 January to shut down Bangkok, orchestrated by the People's Democratic Reform Committee led by Suthep Thaugsuban, a former Deputy Prime Minister and member of the opposition Democrat Party, does not seem to have achieved its objective.
Moreover, through the soft policing
It may seem anomalous that Australia, with a third of the world's uranium reserves, does not have a uranium enrichment industry to value-add on uranium exports. This was seriously considered in the 1970s, when a consortium of four major Australian resource companies conducted an enrichment
It's been 17 years since the US and India last engaged in tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions. That was in 1997, when Delhi kicked out two US intelligence officials (one, reportedly, the CIA’s Deputy Head of Station) and the US responded in kind. One has to go back much further, to 1981, for the
Alexander Luck writes:
Richard Broinowski may want to check a few of his facts. The J-15 inflight refueling system is meant to provide more fuel to other aircraft, not to the plane carrying it, unlike an ordinary drop-tank. It will therefore enable these aircraft to take off with heavier
In my concluding thoughts on a report compiling four workshop papers about tensions in the East China Sea, published by the Lowy Institute on 7 January, I note that it is impossible to predict the consequences of the vicious tit-for-tat cycle which Beijing and Tokyo have fallen into over the past 16
Each country has a different vision of the so-called 'Indo-Pacific' and its role in it. The views of India, China and the US are of particular interest to Australia given its interlocking relationships with each.
Some of these views were on display recently in Kunming (the closest China comes to
The Christmas/New Year period has been busy for those who watch Chinese military developments. For pure symbolic power, it was impossible to beat the first publicity photos of a Chinese carrier battlegroup, featuring not only China's sole carrier, the Liaoning, but various powerful escort ships (see
Late last year, tensions in East Asia flared after Japanese Prime Minister Abe made a controversial official visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. What are the consequences of the visit likely to be and will it hurt US-Japan relations?
Malaysia is pursuing a two-fold strategy in the South China
As you have already seen courtesy of a piece by new contributor Robert Kelly on three things that won't happen in Northeast Asia this year, we've decided to invert the January ritual of making predictions about the coming year. So here's my short list of things that won't happen in 2014, for good
This workshop report comprises four papers presented at an international workshop, 'Tensions in the East China Sea', which was held at the Lowy Institute in Sydney in June 2013. The papers are written by Ms Bonnie Glaser, Ms Linda Jakobson, Prof Jin Canrong and Mr Wang Hao, and Lt Gen (Ret)
It’s the time of year for predictions, but rather than looking at what might happen in Northeast Asia in 2014, let's flag some events that, although they might or should happen, probably won’t happen.
1. There will be no Sino-Japanese war
The analogies of China to Wilhelmine Germany
It's too early to say whether the violence resulting in at least four deaths that occurred in Phnom Penh on 3 January, as police and military dispersed protesters in the city's 'Freedom Park', represents a turning point in the long stand-off that has followed last July's disputed national elections
Yesterday Peter McCawley noted that revelations of Australian spying on Indonesia are threatening to damage bilateral trade talks.
Today, more evidence that the Snowden leaks are having direct economic consequences: Brazil has announced that Swedish firm Saab will fill an order for 36 fighter
This week Japan released its first overarching national security strategy, a sign of the troubled times in North Asian geopolitics as well as a marker of where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to take Japanese policy.
So this was the logical moment for the Lowy Institute to launch a new analysis
The Weekend Australian carried a ‘well-sourced’ article defending our listening in on Kristiani Herawati, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's wife. Quoting the usual ‘well-connected insider who asked not to be named’, it argues that she was a legitimate target because she was
This isn't the first time I've highlighted the views of North Korea analyst BR Myers. I haven't read his book, The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters, but the many interviews with and articles about Myers' work have brought home to me how inadequate the conventional
At the beginning of last week it appeared that the row with Indonesia over intelligence issues had quietened down. Prime Minister Abbott had sent what was doubtless a carefully drafted letter to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The welcome indications, after a day or so, were that SBY felt the
On 17 December the Japanese government issued three national security documents: the first-ever National Security Strategy (which explains overall foreign policy strategy), the National Defense Program Outline, and the Mid-term Defense Plan (which together describe military strategy and force
William Hobart is an intern in the Lowy Institute's International Security Program.
Rationalist explanations for war in the East China Sea.
India’s expertise at maintaining the Russian-made Su-27 and Su-30 ‘Flanker’ jets is not only providing revenue, it’s deepening military ties with the
Two recent reputable public opinion polls in Indonesia provide further confirmation of the rise of Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) as the clear front runner for next year's presidential elections.
From his original position as mayor of Solo — a city of around 550,000 people — Jokowi has captured
There's so much discussion out there about China's rise, its territorial quarrels with neighbours and the risk (some would say inevitability) of eventual conflict between the great powers that we rarely step back to think outside the terms of this power struggle. What if
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is determined to keep Japan a tier-one power in Asia and the world. Through strengthening the economy and reforming national security institutions, as outlined in the December 2013 inaugural Japanese national security strategy, he seeks a strengthening of the US-
On 20 December the Indian Air Force (IAF) will induct the country's first indigenous fighter jet, the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), in Bangalore. The Tejas has been many painful years in the making.
It was first seriously mooted in the 1980s, the first technology demonstrator came in 1995,
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.
In a new article in the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies journal, Lowy Institute Research Fellow Dr Dave McRae surveys Indonesian politics in 2013, focusing on the impact of the rise of Joko Widodo (Jokowi) from small-town mayor to presidential frontrunner. The article examine's whether
Over the past two weeks, five of India's states have gone to the polls. Held less than six months ahead of general elections, due by the end of May next year, this round of assembly elections arguably provides an indication of the forces that will shape elections at the national level.
As in nearly any democratic country, India’s domestic politics has long been understood to play an important role in influencing foreign policy. This has been an especially pronounced dynamic in recent years.
In 2008, the Singh Government was shaken by a close no-confidence vote over the US-
In a televised address on Monday morning, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced that Thailand's House of Representatives had been dissolved. The move is a bid to ease the pressure of protests against her government, led by former deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban (pictured), who took to the streets
I'm late to Stephen Walt's blog post on this topic, but it deserves your attention. 'The future of Sino-American relations should be on everyone's list of Top 5 "Big Questions"', Walt says:
...the main issue is whether China will continue to tolerate America's extensive and powerful military
Various Indian newspapers have reported that Indian Defence Miniser AK Anthony has written to all the country's political parties requesting their opinions on the creation of a long-mooted Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post for the armed forces.
This might appear to be an arcane point of
Dr Anna Powles is a Senior Lecturer in Security Studies at Massey University. Jose KL Sousa Santos served as an advisor to the Timorese President and Government and was a security analyst with the UN Integrated Mission to Timor Leste.
The standoff between Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and ex-
International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf reviews the report of the Australia India Institute Taskforce on Indian Ocean Security, The Indian Ocean region: Security, stability and sustainability in the 21st century
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
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
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