China has loomed large in the Australian economy for two decades. Be it the demand for iron ore or coal, or the education, property, and tourism markets, the Australian economy has boomed with China’s wind in its sails.
As China is now the world’s second largest economy, its global
The Australian Embassy in Washington has been promoting “100 Years of Mateship” between Australia and the US in the lead-up to the centenary of the Battle of Hamel in the First World War, which has been commemorated this week.
The Embassy has come up with a list of 15 eminent
He fainted on me. Big bloke, my local guide on Nauru, who in the sunbaked heat took me Topside on the island to steal a look at the refugee camp among the scraggy rocks known as the pinnacles. And down he went.
Nauru was happy for reporters to visit the country then. In 2013, I was one of the last
The Australian Government is in the process of developing its second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The whole-of-government policy is designed to guide the national implementation of the suite of eight UN Security Council resolutions that identify women’s security as a
Most discussion about Australian foreign policy inevitably revolves around questions of power and influence.
A quick peruse of The Interpreter turns up various pieces considering how Canberra has recently or might soon endeavour to influence a variety of different actors in world politics: be it
Recent months have seen controversy swirling around Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, the national security risk it may or may not pose to Australia, and its involvement with the nation’s legislators.
Amid these concerns, it is important to consider the company in its
The Australian Government will soon unveil contentious national security legislation granting law enforcement exceptional access under warrant to the encrypted data of suspected criminals. Getting the regulatory approach wrong could leave Australians exposed to a greater security risk, or left
Almost two years have passed since the US was represented in Australia by a permanent ambassador. It is now conceivable that Australia will receive a Presidential visit before it gets an ambassador.
This is an unprecedented interregnum.
It is tempting to observe that this is a pretty
Efforts by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to influence Australian politics have made headlines since 2017. In recent months, similar attempts have been at the centre of German debates.
While geographically distant, Australia and Germany are well suited to address this challenge jointly,
After the remarkable international developments of the past two years, and following a year of heated domestic debate on issues such as foreign influence, energy, and immigration, this year’s Lowy Institute Poll, released on Wednesday, has observed both continuities and discontinuities in
One of the worst human rights abuses in recent times is occurring in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang. The Chinese Communist Party has rounded up possibly one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in purpose-built concentration camps where they are subjected to
On 9 May, the United Nations Conciliation Commission (UNCC) concerning the Timor Sea dispute between Timor-Leste and Australia released its final report. This was the first time such a form of compulsory dispute resolution had been invoked, with the proceedings initiated in April the year
What’s at stake in the “China influence” debate? According to one view, China’s rise, if unchecked, will leave Australia a mere vassal state, while the United Front Work Department rends the fabric of our democracy from within.
Viewed another way, Australia’s future
According to the caricature in the popular media, Chinese international students in Australia are devoted agents of the Chinese Government. They are “brainwashed from birth” and, in this compromised state, pose a threat to Australian universities and the values they espouse.
In this context,
Australia’s not-so-old tendency to avoid tension that could jeopardise our economic and trade relationship with China had the unfortunate effect of making China dismissive of Australia’s regional interests.
For too long, too few of us thought hard, if at all, about what a region deterred by
The government has announced budget support for Australia’s first paved runway in its Antarctic territory, as part of a modernisation program for its Antarctic bases.
Of all the Antarctic-related investment opportunities available to them, the government has chosen to pursue a business case for
Power is the most important facet of international relations. Notwithstanding this centrality, measuring power is a fraught business.
Conventional aggregate measures, such as population, GDP, defence spending, and military capabilities, are the most common proxies. Recently, however, scholars have
With government investment in higher education continuing to decrease, Australian universities are becoming more and more financially reliant on international student fees. As has been the case for a number of years, students from the People’s Republic of China are the largest group by a wide
A firestorm has erupted over a secret campaign of foreign influence that has snaked into Canberra’s corridors of power and major media outlets across Australia.
Senior intelligence chiefs are understood to have warned the infiltration could extend to the very highest levels of
Recent commentary about a changing world order, and the growing influence of China and Indonesia across Australia’s strategic threshold of the south-west Pacific, highlights the incompleteness of this country’s outreach to the “Indo-Pacific”.
In the government’s 2017 Foreign Policy
China funds the Indo-Pacific budget
Federal government budgets are normally very domestically focused, especially in a potential election year – unless there is a global financial crisis.
But the fiscal plan outlined this week was interesting from an international relations perspective because
The current Royal Commission into Australian finance is uncovering headline-grabbing malpractices which have scandalised the community. These deficiencies will prove costly to the sector’s wealth and reputation. Because Australian finance largely avoided the dramas and tribulations experienced in
An ill-fated business deal, a major corruption case, and protestations from Beijing about the visit of a dissident made the year 2009 something of an annus horribilis for Australia’s relations with the People’s Republic of China. It also marked the collapse of the Labor–Liberal
Greg Colton’s Safeguarding Australia’s security interests through closer Pacific ties sits in a long tradition of mainstream thinking about the significance of the Pacific for Australia’s national security.
It is a tradition that draws on intertwined anxieties: on the
Late last year in Australia, there was sudden interest shown in ballistic missile defence (BMD). Although the driver was North Korea’s missile testing, the real issue is China.
China’s latest ballistic missiles, combined with its new island bases, are steadily undercutting Australia’s
The news that US President Donald Trump has reassigned Admiral Harry Harris to Seoul from his expected posting to Canberra has brought forth a somewhat predictable bout of hair-pulling and hand-wringing from alliance sentimentalists.
Rather than see this decision by the administration on its own
As Anzac Day rolls around again, we are likely witness the usual complaints about exploitation of the day, debate about what it means in a modern context, and the inevitable social media faux pas. None of this is really new.
Sixty years ago, Alan Seymour wrote an entire play, The One Day of
On 18 April, The Australian newspaper reported that Chinese students had “defied” warnings from their government about safety in Australia and enrolled in record numbers in the country’s universities for 2018.
It was a nice image, of brave families and their children
How should we react to news reports that China challenged Australian warships in the course of transiting the South China Sea, on their way from Subic Bay in the Philippines to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam?
Without knowing where the challenge occurred (was it inside 12 nautical miles of a
Despite their other disagreements, several fans and critics of Clive Hamilton’s Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia converge around the claim that his comments on national sovereignty are overstated. The Chinese Government’s influence operations, we are assured
How do you put a value on the Prime Minister’s time?
Maybe start with Malcolm’s Turnbull annual salary – $527,854 – and divide this figure by the number of minutes in a year? That’s roughly a $1 per minute.
Too low? Even allowing the PM time to sleep, this calculation seems
“There is no closer friendship than that between Australia and New Zealand,” Malcolm Turnbull and Jacinda Ardern declared after their leadership meeting in Sydney in March. Their language reflected many such statements over the years.
And it’s true. Our communities understand each
Australian leaders have tended to make most of their key foreign policy speeches abroad, a point I gently made in The Interpreter earlier this year. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop responded to this criticism in the most direct way possible, by making her first major address after the
The “bitter split among Australia academics” (reported in the Financial Times) with regard to attitudes towards China, and the Skripal poisoning incident that prompted an unprecedented number of European countries to take highly symbolic measures against Russia, have a common denominator
The decision to terminate a long-standing arrangement that saw the Australian High Court act as a partial appellate court for Nauru, as reported last week, has heightened concerns about Nauru’s appropriateness as a venue for an Australian immigration detention centre.
The timing of the
Australia does not have a coast guard, but does guard its coasts. It has achieved this since 2005 by using the inter-agency operational authority now known as the Maritime Border Command. This authority combines assets from Defence and what is now the Australian Border Force (ABF) under a
What to make of the extraordinary story in Australia’s Fairfax newspapers on Tuesday about reported discussions between China and Vanuatu that could allow the People’s Liberation Army to establish a presence in the South Pacific nation?
If true, there would be significant cause for
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet for the first time on 27 April at Panmunjom, the “truce” village on the border of the two countries.
The rapidly changing security environment on the Korean Peninsula has reached a critical juncture.
It says something about the political clout of car dealers that imported used cars appear to be the last bulwark between Australia and the right to claim a free market in the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade zone.
The National Interest Analysis (NIA) of the
John Carlson says Australia approached maritime boundary negotiations with Indonesia in 1972 by arguing the Timor Trough was the meeting point of two geologically distinct continental shelves at a subduction zone. But the trough does not constitute two separate shelves any more than a rumpled carpet
The Turnbull government is spending $200 billion over the next decade to build-up our military capabilities, the largest amount in peacetime history. We need those weapons, vehicles, ships, systems, and aircraft to defend our nation and our interests.
Capability is our first priority but, unlike
The role of cricket in Australian society is unique. In a sporting-mad nation with a saturated sports market, cricket is probably the one true national game. Unlike the football codes which are scattered, with strongholds of support in separate states, or soccer, where the best Australians
Japan’s whale hunters are expected home any day, carrying up to 300 minke whales killed in the Southern Ocean. A harpoon ship, Yushin Maru No. 2, quietly slipped into Shiogama Port on Saturday, while the giant abattoir ship Nisshin Maru is still at sea (with its marine tracking monitor turned off
Clive Hamilton’s new book Silent Invasion: Chinese Influence in Australia is coming in for considerable criticism. Some of it is warranted, including elements of this thoughtful review; some of it is not. I will discuss both kinds when I join Hamilton in conversation in Canberra next month
Sitting in the largely lifeless media centre of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s $56-million grand diplomatic gambit, it was hard not to be struck by the irony of Australia’s earnest embrace of the ASEAN way, with its emphasis on consultation and non-intervention.
In mid-2015 I was approached to work as a claims assistance provider at the Manus Regional Processing Centre. Initially, I was hesitant because I did not want to be part of an arrangement I believed was morally, if not legally, reprehensible. The processing of asylum seekers was of concern
Ahead of Malcolm Turnbull’s weekend confab for South East Asian leaders, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo reportedly thought it would be a “good idea” if Australia joined ASEAN.
Lowy’s Aaron Connelly is dubious.
Reality check: Australia has not been invited to join ASEAN, and will not
How does Australia’s economy align with those of our Asian neighbours? What are the development challenges facing nearby South East Asian countries? And just how large is China’s economy? These questions are of particular interest this week as the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit is held in Sydney