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Beijing should hasten slowly on AIIB

The establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) reached another milestone on Monday when 50 of the 57 founding members signed the AIIB's Articles of Agreement. Seven countries are still sorting out domestic requirements before signing. China's Finance Minister Jiwei Lou and

BRICS New Development Bank moves ahead quietly

While Beijing's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has won overwhelming support (to the surprise of many, including China itself), another bank headquartered in China seems to be flying under the world's radar. Few people have heard of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). This was the

Australia's Pacific aid budget spared from serious cuts

By Jenny Hayward-Jones, Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program, and Phillipa Brant, Research Associate. The Pacific Islands region has been spared any serious impact from cuts to the Australian aid program revealed in budget documents released yesterday. Australia's bilateral program

Nepal aid response reflects regional rivalries

In recent years, strategic rivalry between India and China has been evident across the Indo-Pacific, with Beijing progressively growing its diplomatic, economic and military influence on India's land and maritime periphery, and India belatedly pushing back to preserve its once privileged position in

Fiji grabs the limelight as leaders of China and India visit

Jenny Hayward-Jones is Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program and Philippa Brant is a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute. Pacific Island leaders have had the rare opportunity to meet the international leader of the moment, Narendra Modi, and the president of the world's

The top four myths about China in the Pacific

Chinese president Xi Jinping's impending visit to Fiji, where he will meet with all of the eight Pacific leaders whose nations diplomatically recognise China, means newspapers will be filled with ruminations on China's strategic influence in the South Pacific and what this means for Australia and

Australia and the AIIB: A lost opportunity

The debate about whether Australia should join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has gone beyond the realm of economic development and investment to hit at the core of Australia's apparent security dilemma. The initial concern revolved around the governance arrangements and whether

China's aid white paper: What's changed?

The Chinese Government is frequently criticised for not being transparent about its aid program. As I mentioned in my quick summary yesterday, there's not a lot of specific data in the Chinese aid white paper. But we can make a few comparisons — on geographical spread, type of aid, and income

China's Foreign Aid White Paper: Quick overview

Today, the Chinese Government released its much-awaited second White Paper on Foreign Aid. It's been in the pipeline for a while, as I've noted a number of times, and follows the first white paper published in April 2011.  So what does it say? First, it is an overview of China's foreign

China's foreign aid: New facts and figures

China's foreign aid program is now the sixth largest in the world. Only the UK, US, Germany, France and Japan provided more last year. This is according to a new paper from the JICA Research Institute estimating China's foreign aid program from 2001 to 2013. Their calculations put China's

Budget 2014: The end of an aid era?

By Jenny Hayward-Jones, Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program, and Philippa Brant, a Lowy Institute research associate. The Abbott Government last night brought down the first annual aid budget since the integration of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and AusAID

China in Africa: New pledges and a new relationship?

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has wrapped up his eight day visit to Africa, his first visit as premier and his first foreign visit this year. Commentators (and African leaders) expect to see big announcements whenever a Chinese leader is in town. So what has this trip revealed? Here are some of the

Chinese development financing to Africa: An update

Last year, AidData and the Center for Global Development launched a massive online database of China's development financing in Africa. At the time, many concerns were raised about its methodology and the headline figure reported extensively in the media. As I explained at the time, 'understanding

China's humanitarian assistance: Signs of improvement?

China's humanitarian aid has recently been subject to much criticism – both international and domestically. But the signs are positive for some reforms. Last week I was in Beijing for a workshop on humanitarian aid (or 'foreign disaster assistance', as the Chinese prefer to call it) hosted by the

Distinguished Speaker Series: Reason and responsibility: how effective aid is delivering results - Peter Baxter presentation

On Tuesday 11 October 2011, as part of the Lowy Institute's Distinguished Speaker Series, Mr Peter Baxter, Director General of AusAID, discussed Australia's aid program and the critical role of development aid in an increasingly interconnected global community. Mr Baxter answered the critics of the

Distinguished Speaker Series:Resetting the relationship: the future of Australian engagement with Papua New Guinea - The Hon Julie Bishop MP presentation

On the evening of Wednesday 27 July, as part of the Lowy Institute’s Distinguished Speaker Series, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, spoke on Australia's bilateral relationship with Papua New Guinea

Lowy Lecture Series: How the future state of the world will shape Australia's aid program - Panellists' presentations

At the Lowy Lecture Series on 20 July, a high-level panel, with Sandy Hollway AO, Jack De Groot and Rowan Callick, considered how well Australia's aid program is placed to respond to evolving development challenges. Annmaree O'Keeffe, Research Fellow at the Lowy Institute, chaired the discussion

The future state of the world: what it means for Australia's foreign aid program

In January 2011, the Australian Government’s Independent Panel to Review Aid commissioned the Lowy Institute to undertake a study of the future state of the world and its potential impact on the government’s aid program. The report, written against the background of a strong focus by the

Wednesday Lunch at Lowy: Fragile states and agile aid - Dr Andrew Leigh presentation

By 2015-16, Australia’s foreign aid budget is projected to double to $8 billion, an unprecedented expansion. In his Lowy lunch speech on 18 May, Federal member for Fraser Dr Andrew Leigh supported the importance of the Australian aid program, in terms of generosity, national security and promoting

Wednesday Lunch at Lowy: Reengineering aid - Sir Richard Feachem presentation

At the Wednesday Lunch at Lowy on 25 May, Sir Richard Feachem summarised the history of aid over the past 60 years, the evidence on aid effectiveness, and the current controversies surrounding aid. Sir Richard proposed some building blocks for a new aid model, more suited to the geopolitical and

Fiji update

On 8 November, the Lowy Institute for International Policy co-hosted the Fiji and Vanuatu Update 2010 with the Crawford School of Economics and Governance, Australian National University. As part of the 2010 Update a distinguished panel was assembled to discuss these very challenges and to discuss

A dictator's paradise

Fergus Hanson wrote for ISN Insights of 19 October that Fiji’s latest strongman, Commodore 'Frank' Bainimarama, who seized power from the elected government in a December 2006 military coup, is tightening his grip on power and dismantling what is left of Fiji’s democracy

New dragon in town

Fergus Hanson wrote for ISN Insights on 26 October that China’s increasingly active role in providing aid in the Pacific is a reminder of the scope of its global ambitions, but why is China so interested in the region, and how does it fit into the wider picture of its development assistance

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