The mixed reaction to the Indian government’s planned dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, which has been approved and will take place on 31 October this year, demonstrates yet again the geopolitical complexity of the western Himalaya. It is also an example of
After a week of turmoil following President Donald Trump’s decision to impose additional tariffs on imports from China, global markets are cheerful again. Shares are recovering and currency markets have stabilised. The bond rally is fading. No new retaliatory actions have been announced by either
The United States has labelled China a currency manipulator. The move sent shock waves through markets early this week and left many speculating what may come next.
Trump has repeatedly called for lower interest rates and a cheaper currency to help him win his trade war with China (and the next US
While President Donald Trump’s bull-in-a-China-shop approach to reforming international trade doesn’t appeal, it is possible that some of his objectives might make sense. This was the logic behind comments by former Barack Obama adviser Daniel Russel, suggesting that Australia
In June, a controversial statement from a UBS economist set off a firestorm in mainland China, causing serious trouble for the Swiss banking behemoth in one of its most important markets. Nationalist anger circulated on Chinese social media. The company apologised for the remarks and placed the
Beijing, over the years, has become more focussed and explicit in recognising and explaining its security threat perceptions. China last week released its 11th national defence paper, and such white papers have come a long way since 1995, when US activity in Asia wasn’t presented as an immediate
A new call to split trade negotiation from diplomacy in Australia has once again underlined how the rise of China has unsettled traditional frameworks for making policy about economic and security interests.
The divide between neo-liberal economic policy approaches
Despite the recent spotlight on Chinese aid and labels of China as an “emerging donor”, China has actually been delivering foreign aid since as far back as the 1950s. Indeed, China provided aid to North Korea for reconstruction purposes after the Korean War, along with Cambodia, Nepal and Egypt
The World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju clearly won gold in the race for sporting headlines these last few days. Just like the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last year, it seemed South Korea had once again become a perfect stage for a world class mix of sport and politics.
This time, however,
Exercise Talisman Sabre has finished, and the Australian, American and Japanese units involved have dispersed to their bases or operational deployments. So has the Chinese ship which monitored their activities.
The Type 815G intelligence gatherer (AGI) No. 853 Tianwangxing (in English Uranus) was
Last Tuesday (23 July) was a bad day in Northeast Asia, not just for what happened but what it foreshadows. Tensions are rising. After all, it’s not every day that a South Korean jet fighter fires across the bow of a Russian spy plane.
Tuesday’s first big event was the inaugural China-
For international governance of the near-pristine expanse of the Antarctic, consensus decision making is powerful indeed. This model, is the modus operandi of Antarctic law, and has formed the basis for the successful operation of the Antarctic Treaty System.
It can be corrosive to such a
Readers of the white paper China’s National Defence in the New Era can be forgiven for their headaches as they move from one conflicting statement to another in Beijing’s latest effort to help “the international community better understand China’s national defence”. This best of times/
If scientists are right, 85% of what comprises the universe is unseen, so-called “dark matter” material that neither reflects nor emits light. In recent times, “south-south” interactions have been somewhat analogous to “dark matter” for the West – that is, largely invisible. Studying
With resumed contact between US trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and China’s negotiator Vice Premier Liu He, the 12th round of trade talks between the US and China may take place in Beijing before the end of July. But the clock is now ticking very loudly. Contrary to the messaging from Beijing
Last week Paramount Pictures released the trailer for its much-hyped Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. The new movie sees Tom Cruise reprise his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, now an aging fighter pilot facing the political and technological realities of a world in which there may no longer
Book Review: Xi Jinping: The Backlash by Richard McGregor (Penguin, Lowy Institute, 2019)
Richard McGregor has written a dazzling account of the first six years of the Xi Jinping era and what he sees as the “backlash” to Xi’s increasing authoritarianism domestically and assertive foreign and
Episode 5 of the Lowy Institute’s new podcast, Rules Based Audio, is out today. In Xi Jinping - The Backlash, Lowy Senior Fellow Richard McGregor discusses his new book on the Chinese leader, which studies the domestic and international reaction to Xi’s centralisation of
China has become more and more active in Antarctica in recent years – both in research and in the international framework of agreements known as the Antarctic Treaty System that has successfully seen the frozen continent devoted to peace and science for decades.
Other than the Chinese government in Beijing, the authorities in Taiwan are closely watching the latest developments in Hong Kong. After a series of protests in the Chinese special administrative region, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has since abandoned a proposed extradition bill that
China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continues to attract much comment. To some, it is a threat – proof that China’s aim is to extend Chinese global influence. To others, it is a useful contribution to global capital flows. Where does the balance lie between these two views?
China is sparing no efforts in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which, as Beijing claims, aims to enhance regional connectivity between China and countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and even the Pacific.
The role for SOEs is a two-way process. SEOs could affect China’s
The recent collapse and restructuring of Baoshang Bank – a smaller but still large bank based in Inner Mongolia in China – has once again raise the issue of the likelihood of a financial crisis in China. I argued last year (China’s looming financial crisis) that a financial crisis has been
Among many interesting findings in this year’s Lowy Institute Poll, one new question produced a particularly striking result given Australia’s debate over how to navigate the looming tech cold war between the US and China.
44% said “protecting Australians from foreign state intrusion”
Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison delivered his first major foreign policy speech since his surprise win in the May election, to an invited audience in Sydney on Wednesday.
Two days ahead of his attendance with other world leaders at the G20 in Osaka Japan, in a historical moment defined by
Rare earth minerals have emerged as the latest front in the escalating US-China trade war. Nearly a decade after the Chinese government controversially suspended rare earth exports to Japan during the 2010 Senkaku dispute, similar threats are now being made if the bilateral trade dispute with the US
On Saturday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that she would suspend consideration of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill (“the Bill”). The Bill would have, among other things, allowed mainland Chinese authorities
Claims by Chinese and Hong Kong officials that the huge protests of the last week were instigated by “foreign forces”, rather than Hong Kongers fighting for their rights, are laughable.
However, the Hong Kong government’s decision on Saturday to suspend the hated extradition bill will ease
On Wednesday, the Hong Kong police opened fire at tens of thousands of young protesters who had gathered outside the Legislative Council in the city centre of Admiralty hoping to stop the second reading of the controversial extradition bill with China from taking place. Young people equipped
China has dominated Australian media over the past week. Warships, baby milk formula, Hong Kong protests, the US China trade war, the list goes on. Politicians, academics, commentators and journalists are all weighing in.
Confusing at the least, damaging at the worst, the result is chaotic
On 2 June, two days before the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, I was in Singapore covering the Shangri-La dialogue, the Asia Pacific region’s biggest security forum, at which Beijing upgraded its representation this year with a delegation led by Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe
Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells’ opinion piece published on Friday in The Australian criticising the government over the visit of Chinese naval ships to Sydney is rather extraordinary. A few observations:
Less than three weeks after the election, we are witnessing the first
Midway through Lee Hsien Loong’s keynote speech at the Shangri-la Dialogue, I found myself turning to others on my table to register my surprise at how critical he seemed to be about China.
Afterwards, talking to many of the Americans who had travelled from Washington for the annual Asian
This article is based on this month’s episode of the Little Red Podcast, Tiananmen’s Final Secret.
In the final moments of this week’s episode of ABC Four Corners recounting the pro-democracy movement in China that came to an abrupt halt 30 years ago, former student leader Wang Dan observes
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the day when Chinese authorities brutally crushed pro-democracy demonstrations, killing anywhere between one and ten thousand people in the process. Today, the Chinese authorities are anxious that we forget the terrible events of 30
Whether high-profile concessional loans for a Sri Lankan port, large-scale Belt and Road deals with Islamabad, or an international push for its newly rebranded China Global Television Network, China’s efforts to boost its place in Asia haven’t gone unnoticed, particularly in Australia.
In the battle for diplomatic recognition between China and Taiwan, China clearly has the upper hand. Taiwan maintains formal diplomatic recognition with only 17 countries, as China refuses to allow dual recognition. While an informal truce existed for much of the Ma Ying-jeou presidency in Taiwan (
There are a lot of different ways for the region to approach China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). We should not assume that all BRI projects are necessarily one sided or economically unfeasible. Indeed, some countries have been better than others in maximising the benefits of BRI investment and
In two dramatic policy announcements this month, the Trump administration effectively barred US companies and government agencies from buying telecommunications equipment or services from – or selling any components to –Chinese technology champion, Huawei. President Donald Trump signed a broadly
It is said that no one can fully understand China. Lately, that oft-repeated axiom has seen a new iteration: no one can fully understand the affection and admiration that so many Chinese people seem to feel for US president Donald J. Trump.
This mystery has long been a source of bewilderment for
China’s Belt and Road Initiative is best known for big infrastructure projects such as train lines and ports, but in this age of omnipresence online, there is a communications counterpart running in parallel, known as the Digital Silk Road. But as with the physical manifestations of China’s big
For American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, the test of a great intellect was the ability to “hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time.” By this measure, Australian foreign policy has been very smart for decades.
Australian leaders have long used a duality to describe and guide our
Too often, the past is mistaken as a guide for the future, rather than as lesson from which to avoid making the same mistakes. Take the relationship between China and Russia as an example.
Too often judgements about the decisions of Russian and Chinese politicians are clouded by stereotypes of the
On the sidelines of the second Belt and Road Forum in China last month, Cambodia’s Hun Sen was busy. He secured a further $90 million defence grant from Beijing, adding to the $100 million already pledged in June last year. The defence deal was one of at least nine agreements signed with China at
As predictable as Big Ben striking the hour, as subtle as a battering ram, the final stages of the US-China trade negotiations involve upping the ante with a further tariff increase, as seen last week.
Tariffs are the negotiating instrument, not the objective. For financial journalists needing an
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