Friday 22 Oct 2021 | 04:52 | SYDNEY
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China-India: Dr Singh goes to Beijing

Shashank Joshi is a doctoral student at Harvard University's Department of Government and a Research Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, London. He tweets here. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is on a four-day tour to Russia and China, and he arrives in Beijing today. What's on

China's aid program: Why the numbers matter

Dr Philippa Brant is a Lowy Institute Research Associate. China’s aid policy, like almost everything China does on the world stage, attracts close scrutiny and often criticism. The forthcoming release of China’s second White Paper on Foreign Aid (likely within the next month) will

Reader riposte: Human trafficking in Vietnam

Meke Kamps, previously the Manager of Blue Dragon Children's Foundation (2009-11) and now a Blue Dragon board member, writes: I am contacting you after reading your article on The Interpreter by Marty Harris on human trafficking victims in the Greater Mekong region. I have a particular interest in

Israel has no need to worry about Obama

Dougal Robinson is a Lowy Institute Project Research Assistant. The US and Iran held a one-hour bilateral meeting in Geneva on Tuesday as part of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, but two-thirds of Jewish Israelis believe President Barack Obama will fail to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Japan-China: Why Australia should embrace ambiguity

Robert Ayson is a Visiting Fellow with the ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, on research leave from the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Malcolm Cook has offered thoughtful criticism of my argument that the Abbott Government went too far in a statement

Undercurrents of Sino-Japanese discord

Rikki Kersten is Professor of Modern Japanese Political History in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. Malcolm Cook is right – the Japanese are indeed worried about the China threat. But we need to delve a little deeper to make sense of it. Politically, magnifying the China threat has

US Jews support two-state solution; split on settlements

Marty Harris is an assistant digital editor at the Lowy Institute. Pew Research has released a major public opinion report on the attitudes of America's more than 5 million Jewish citizens. Much of the media reporting has focused on a supposed 'identity shift' among Jewish Americans, but the

Yes, Japan is alarmed by China's rise

Having been to Tokyo twice in the last two weeks* for interviews and workshops on Japan-China-Korea relations and Japan-Australia relations, my answer to Sam’s query (Is Japan Alarmed by China's Rise?) is YES. Japan is alarmed, and so it should be. Any country facing a neighbour that has a

Is Japan alarmed by China's rise?

The FT's Gideon Rachman on Japan's security fears (emphasis mine):  Abe’s radicalism is not driven solely by domestic economics. Japan has also been jolted into action by the perception of a growing threat from China. The Chinese economy surpassed Japan’s in size in 2011; the gap is

Movie trailer: A Touch of Sin

I'm late to A Touch of Sin, as it has already screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival, but on the strength of this trailer and some of the reviews, I'll be looking out for it on disc. A Touch of Sin tells four stories of a rapidly modernising China and examines corruption,

Rubbery figures: Chinese military R&D

Dennis Blasko is a Senior Research Scientist in China Studies for CNA Analysis & Solutions. Senior Research Scientist, China Studies Senior Research Scientist, China Studies For most of the past decade, organisations and individuals estimating China's 'actual' or 'true' defence-related spending

Cambodian election aftermath: Quiet flows the Mekong

Contrary to some media reports and photographs of razor wire in the streets, Phnom Penh has appeared calm over the past four days I have been here. Yesterday morning there was a demonstration near the Phnom (see photo above), the city's most recognisable landmark, but it was to do with land issues,

Focus on the Palestinian economy

Marty Harris is an assistant digital editor at the Lowy Institute. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Middle East and Central Asian Studies from ANU. Two reports on the Palestinian economy were released recently. Late last month the Office of the Middle East Quartet released a summary of the '

Talking to Iran is good, right?

It is right to be cautious about Iran's post-Ahmadinejad willingness to negotiate on the nuclear issue. And while a combination of the sanctions regime and the election of Hassan Rouhani as president has enabled negotiations to occur, the West should be alert to where Iran sees itself positioned

China's really big military R&D effort

The scale of China's military research and development effort has been underestimated in the open source literature, perhaps by as much as 50%, says Associate Professor Tai Ming Cheung, director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California. It's difficult to

Progress and the Party: Social(ist) tensions in Vietnam

Elliot Brennan is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Security and Development Policy (Sweden) and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Pacific Forum-Center for Strategic and International Studies (US).   Late last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh

Reader ripostes: The Guardian's flawed Indonesia quiz

Stephen Grenville writes: Nicholas Stuart is right in spotting an error in The Guardian’s Indonesia Quiz, but he misses the best part of the British connection in only mentioning their presence at the end of WWII. Much more interesting is the presence of the British during and after the

Obama's Asia trip and the credibility of the pivot

Michael Green served on the US National Security Council staff from 2001-2005. He is now Senior Vice President for Asia at CSIS and a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute. President Obama has cut Malaysia and the Philippines from his itinerary for his upcoming Asia trip, but still appears

Obama's Asia trip and the credibility of the pivot

Michael Green served on the US National Security Council staff from 2001-2005. He is now Senior Vice President for Asia at CSIS and a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute. President Obama has cut Malaysia and the Philippines from his itinerary for his upcoming Asia trip, but still appears

How Indonesia's print media saw the Abbott visit

Yesterday Sam Roggeveen provided English-language links to coverage of Prime Minister Abbott's visit to Indonesia. This post looks at the Indonesian language print media on Tuesday and Wednesday. I've covered four of Indonesia's largest daily newspapers — Kompas, Jawa Pos, Koran Tempo and Media

Abbott's Indonesia visit: Links

Tony Abbott's press statement alongside President Yudhoyono. (UPDATE: Video of the joint press conference. Tks Politics Australia.) Abbott's remarks to the official dinner in Jakarta. Reporting on yesterday's meeting is mixed, with Fairfax saying Abbott got a significant concession from President

China's environmental crisis, close up

China watcher James West writes for The Atlantic on his latest train trip through China, and has a short accompanying video (above): I have never before been as dumbfounded as during a train ride this week from Beijing through a swathe of China’s northeast coal belt... ...The scene could be a

Confucianism? Engage platonically

Nicholas Stuart is a Canberra Times columnist and author of Kevin Rudd: An Unauthorised Political Biography. Melissa Conley Tyler’s reminder that there might be different ways to ‘think’ (or, to construct the formulation another way, ‘decipher the way of the world’) is timely. Engaging

US-Iran: Hints of hope in presidents' speeches

Dina Esfandiary is an Iran specialist and a research associate in the Non-proliferation and Disarmament programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The much-anticipated handshake between presidents Rouhani and Obama didn’t happen at the UN this week. Dubbed #handshakegate on

Indonesia political update

Following Wednesday's interview updating you on the economic situation in Indonesia, below is my chat with the Lowy Institute's David McRae on the political situation. Dave spoke on this topic at Monday's Lowy Institute-ANU Indonesia Mini-Update event (full audio for the event here). Dave talks

'So much for the Asia pivot'

That's how the BBC's New York correspondent Nick Bryant introduced a NY Times account of President Obama's UN General Assembly speech. Here's the relevant passage from the Times: Despite a war-weary public and its declining reliance on Middle Eastern oil, the United States would continue to be an

Not so inscrutable: Learning how Asians think

Melissa Conley Tyler is National Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. In 1998 it was still possible to publish a book with the title Can Asians Think?, at least if you were Singaporean. I don’t think anyone would ask that question now. But at a time when Asia

China's bullet trains: Build it and they will come

There's been a lot of talk about overcapacity, but the New York Times reports that China's high-speed rail (HSR) network is a success: China’s high-speed rail system has emerged as an unexpected success story. Economists and transportation experts cite it as one reason for China’s continued

Indonesian economy update

Yesterday the Lowy Institute hosted* one of our regular 'mini update' conferences on Indonesia, and I got the chance to talk with two of the speakers, Jason Alford from the Australian Treasury and Moekti Soejachmoen from the Support for Economic Analysis Development in Indonesia (SEADI) project.

Christopher Koch, 1932-2013: A literary guide to Asia

The death yesterday of Christopher Koch at the age of 81 marks the end of a distinguished literary career. Twice winner of the Miles Franklin Award, Koch's work as a writer spanned novels and poetry as well as pungent commentary on what he saw as the failings of contemporary culture. For those

US-China: Why things won't go well

Deep and rather arresting pessimism here about the future of US-China relations from Jennifer Lind and Daryl Press: The best hope for amicable U.S.-China relations rests on Beijing adopting a highly restrained grand strategy, but it would be historically unprecedented if it did so. China would be

Andrew Michelmore: Understanding China's SOEs

Eva O’Dea is a Research Associate in the Lowy Institute’s East Asia Program. Australia needs to better understand Chinese state owned enterprises (SOEs), according to Andrew Michelmore, CEO of MMG Limited. In his address to the Lowy Institute’s tenth anniversary China Changing Lecture in

Michelmore on Chinese investment in Australia

Eva O’Dea is a Research Associate in the Lowy Institute’s East Asia Program. Australia has ‘tarnished’ its reputation for policy stability in recent years through mismanagement and miscommunication over the introduction of the Minerals Resources Rent Tax and carbon pricing, according to

Reader riposte: Daily Show's Middle East map

Tzvi Fleischer from the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council writes: Noticed you posted that skit about Middle East borders from the US 'Daily Show' today. It's cute as a skit but, as you would expect on a comedy show, its pretty lousy history and political analysis. The whole trope about

Syria: How about a little love for the Russians?

Commentary from Washington on the US-Russia deal to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons is of two main varieties. The first argues that Obama got played by Putin. According to this version, the Russians exploited a mistake from Secretary of State John Kerry (who made an off-the-cuff

Australia gears up for UNSC Syria talks

Denis Fitzgerald is a freelance journalist covering the United Nations in New York. He blogs at UN Tribune. For the first two weeks of Australia’s presidency, the UN Security Council has not met formally to discuss the situation in Syria (though there’s been plenty of informal discussion