Although China’s top-ranking diplomat Yang Jiechi has repeatedly assured the world that his country’s supreme foreign policy project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), “does not play little geopolitical games”, many governments believe this is exactly what it does. The second BRI
Whatever the true situation behind the sacking of Gavin Williamson as British defence secretary over claims (which he strenuously denies) that he leaked information to the Daily Telegraph from a meeting of the National Security Committee on Chinese telecom company Huawei, one thing is crystal clear
China’s Xi Jinping recently completed a high-profile trip to Europe. In Italy, Xi and his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte last month signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding linking the struggling Italian economy to Belt and Road Initiative, the sprawling infrastructure
Until recently, Germany was one of the few major Western countries that China had consistently amicable relations with in an increasingly hostile international environment for Beijing’s export-oriented industries and foreign investments. Germany, China’s fourth-largest trade partner, did not
This article is based on the latest episode of the Little Red Podcast, featuring interviews with Chan Kinman and Nathan Law.
In 2014, Hong Kong’s umbrella movement saw 1.2 million people occupy the city’s main roads, calling for greater democratic reform. It became known as the Umbrella
From Bitcoin to YouTube, the internet has greatly altered the way humans behave and interact. This is particularly the case in China – the largest online community in the world where everything from online payments to shopping has been pioneered and taken up with gusto. While foreign policy may be
Western governments have long complained about the lack of reciprocity in dealing with China. As the traditional basis for international relations, reciprocity suggests that benefits and penalties alike, granted from one state to another, should be returned in kind.
In diplomatic relations,
Sam Roggeveen wrote recently on the need for the government to be more forthcoming about its security assessments on China, specifically, allegations of influence and interference activities conducted within Australia. The trigger was Andrew Robb’s interview for the ABC, in which the ex-
The Social Credit System (SCS), China’s score-based system that aspires to instil trust in society, is being tested in pilot cities before its nation-wide implementation.
While the SCS attempts to construct a trust-bonded society within the parameters of Party-defined “trust” and “
The forthcoming national elections in Solomon Islands in April have once again raised the issue of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China (hereafter “Taiwan”) and Solomon Islands. Prime Minister Rick Hou’s political party has said it will review Solomon Islands diplomatic relations
South Asia is integral to China’s Belt and Road vision. As an intersection point between the proposed “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, China sees South Asia as a “priority zone” for promoting its Belt and Road Initiative. It also helps that South
Perhaps they will, perhaps they won’t, but if China and the US do reach a trade agreement in coming weeks it will likely be very long. Meeting to seal the deal, President Donald Trump and China’s leader Xi Jinping will be able to display to the cameras a document of at least a hundred pages
When China’s increasing links to Latin America are discussed, Australia might not be the first country that comes to mind. But for Australian policy makers, Beijing’s push into Latin America matters. Australia must do more itself to strengthen its otherwise nascent relationships with the region
In Beijing, the Two Sessions has begun: a fortnight of meetings involving thousands of delegates of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
China wants to tell the world about itself, which is this: we’re all-conquering, globe-striding, dark
Xu Yinsheng, who is in charge of the radio station's control room in the village, stands in front of a console and a microphone, checking to see if the equipment is functioning properly. This room is the centre of the so-called New Village Loudspeaker Project, a Party-led campaign that has so far
Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is reportedly suing the Canadian government, its border agency, and the national police force for false imprisonment in relation to her arrest as she transited through the country in December. Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei’s founder and
Of all the countries on the sidelines of the Hanoi summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, few were watching more intently than China.
Chinese financial and trade support effectively facilitated North Korea’s nuclear program by keeping its economy afloat and thus fractured the chances of a
This is an edited extract of the opening speech delivered in Sydney this month to the Chief Economists Forum, held annually by the Financial Standard.
There are three main dynamics which are shaping the changing global, economic and strategic order. Each is interacting with the other and
In a framework of ideological contest between democracies and authoritarian states, democracies should work with their strengths. It’s true the disheartening performance of many democratic politicians of late has not done much to burnish the franchise. Like the old line made famous by
The focus of the Pacific Islands Forum and its Secretariat is securing the future prosperity and wellbeing of the “Blue Pacific”. The Forum seeks genuine partnerships with all actors who are willing to join us along the pathway towards that vision. Therefore, I reject the terms of the dilemma in
In 2000, China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand concluded an agreement to begin clearing the Mekong River of obstacles so that cargo vessels could travel from southern Yunnan to the old royal capital of Laos, Luang Prabang. Neither Cambodia nor Vietnam, the other two riverine countries, were
Among the many questions raised by the massive modernisation and expansion of China’s Navy in the last few years is its future role in the Indian Ocean. Will the Indian Ocean become a Chinese lake?
China has gone from essentially zero presence in the Indian Ocean around a decade ago to a fairly
The US-China trade war is viewed by many as a dark cloud over the global economy. So why is Australia’s ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, seemingly urging Trump to go harder, and not settle for a “pyrrhic victory” that fails to resolve long-term differences between the US and China?
While millions of Chinese made an annual pilgrimage home for the Spring Festival, Huang Xiangmo, the Chinese property developer at the centre of Australia’s political interference scandal, had his Australian permanent residency and visa cancelled,
Breaking up is hard to do, judging by the Malaysian government’s latest contortions over how to handle a US $20 billion Chinese-backed rail project of questionable economic value.
The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is one of several high-profile Chinese infrastructure deals signed by previous prime
Washington intends to begin withdrawing from the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty early next month. President Trump indicated late last year that the US is pulling out because “they’ve (Russia) been violating it for many years.” The concern for Australia is that
A US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies report (Illuminating the South China Sea’s Dark Fishing Fleets) sheds new light on the size and behaviour of fishing fleets in the Spratly Islands.
It is critical to prevent the ‘maritime militia narrative’ from dominating the policy
Mind the wildlife
In a widely publicised speech interpreted as a rare acknowledgement of the serious risks facing the Chinese economy, President Xi Jinping warned hundreds of top Communist Party officials that China must be on the alert against black swans and grey rhinos. Presumably, they don’t
China is frequently hailed as a leader in international efforts to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, playing a pivotal role in negotiating the Paris Agreement, and pledging that carbon emissions will peak by 2030 and decline rapidly thereafter. The country has quickly become one of the
In 2018, Xi Jinping seemed to be in an almost unassailable position in Chinese politics. China’s president started the year with the sort of political power that few since Mao have enjoyed, with what was seen as an emphatic victory for him at the 2018 National People’s Congress for his proposal
The simmering dispute between Canada and China – building since 1 December following Canada’s detention of the Huawei executive and Chinese national, Meng Wanzhou – has now apparently placed the life of a Canadian detained in China at risk.
Canada has acted responsibility in dealing with the
While China still uses the rhetoric of “reform and opening up” its financial system remains relatively closed and is set to get even more unfriendly for foreign investors despite some recent announcements on liberalisation.
The recent news that China continues to delay access by Visa and
There is growing anxiety about the increased Chinese footprint in South Asia and Africa within the strategic community in the West and India. Chinese projects have raised concerns about the lack of transparency, sustainable development, and being politically motivated. This has led to pushback
Speaking at New York’s Asia Society Policy on 5 December, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd contended that religious freedom in China is “much better now than it was before.” A storm of indignant posts spread on social media, voicing displeasure and disagreement.
If, as Rudd argued
In recent months, the US-China relationship has accelerated from rivalry toward adversarial antagonism. In the US, a policy shift on China has been propelled by a sense that China is winning and America is losing in a competition for global hegemony.
“I want tariffs,” Donald Trump&
Just as the Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 produced a glimmer of hope for mutual de-escalation, the US-China trade war has taken its ugliest turn yet.
Last week, Beijing detained two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, in retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s Chief Financial
President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton outlined the US administration’s new Africa strategy in a speech last week at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC. The main tenets of the strategy, including the prioritisation of trade and
A series where Lowy Institute experts look back on what surprised them in 2018.
For some years now I have believed that the United States is on the losing end of a long struggle with China for strategic hegemony in Asia. My position is summarised in a long article I wrote for the Financial Review
As Beijing clamps down on air pollution, it is seeking to replace coal power plants with cleaner natural gas, especially for heating during winter. Consequently, China has intensified relations with Russia, one of the world’s leading gas exporters, to expand energy ties.
But although upping gas
The administration has recognised that the true challenge China presents is not fundamentally one of a rising power threatening to replace an established power. Instead it is the challenge that China poses to the fundamental principles embraced by market democracies globally: free trade and open
On 1 December, as President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping were meeting in Buenos Aires to discuss a mounting trade dispute between the United States and China, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, deputy chairwoman and chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. of Shenzen, was on her way
As Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou sits in Canada, awaiting potential extradition to the United States, her case underscores two themes that have become evident throughout 2018:
The ambitions of China’s technology and telecommunications firms are feeling a pronounced pushback
In 2016, I published a study of Xi Jinping, CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping (I B Tauris). This book has subsequently been reissued in paperback, and in 2018 I did a shorter overview, The World According to Xi with the same publisher. For one reason or the other, other the last few years I have had
Early on Saturday morning, China launched the Chang’e 4 robot spacecraft on course for the Moon. If all goes well, it will become the first spacecraft in history to soft-land on the far side of the Moon, probably in early January. This would be a tremendous achievement for China and for the
We are not entering a new Cold War, despite both Chinese President Xi and US Vice-President Pence finding the term a useful rhetorical tool. The Americans have decided to compete against China because they think the last two decades of cooperation has failed. The Trump Administration,
The US military is dangerously under-funded and could lose the next big war it wages. That is the key message from a new report by the influential National Defense Strategy Commission.
Established by Congress to provide an independent, non-partisan assessment of the 2018 US National Defense
In the Uighur-Australian communities of Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne, almost everyone can tell you a story of losing contact with family members in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China, known as East Turkistan to the Uighur people.
What is occurring in the Uighur homeland
This truce is by no means the end of trade tensions between China and the US.
Over what was undoubtedly a delicious dinner last Saturday night on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to extend the deadline for the
During a forum in Singapore organised by Michael Bloomberg this month, the former New York mayor flatteringly – but not entirely factually – introduced China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan, as “the most influential political figure” in China and the world.
Being the right-hand man
Journalists in China are routinely harassed by police and even imprisoned for trying to cover stories that local officials do not want to get in the news.
In 2018, the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, which ranks the performance of 180 countries according to media and