China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) just hours after announcement of the new tripartite AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom and United States) security partnership may – or may not – have been coincidental.
Thomas Shugart’s excellent Lowy analysis Australia and the growing reach of China’s military is by far the best thing I’ve read on the specific defence implications for Australia of China’s swift emergence as a maritime power. It not only explains how China’s maritime forces have developed
Two recent naval exercises demonstrate the potential for Russia-China cooperation in the Indian Ocean, and how the two present a much greater threat to a continued US role and influence in the region than either would individually.
Last year, South Africa hosted a maritime exercise with
Lying at the south-eastern extremity of the Indian peninsula, the Malabar is a serene, idyllic region at the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. This region was once the historical gateway for maritime trade between India and the rest of the world, until the
Diego Garcia is the United States’ major geostrategic and logistics support base in the Indian Ocean. Sovereignty over the island is increasingly being challenged by Mauritius, but it seems unlikely that Washington would be interested in a deal that would facilitate its transfer.
The base has
In March this year, Myanmar’s Defence Ministry submitted a proposal to parliament to establish a national coastguard. Given strong support for the idea from the main political parties, the armed forces, and the public, it is expected that the necessary legislation will be passed without undue
The so-called Quad group of Indo-Pacific maritime democracies – Australia, India, Japan, and the United States – is a valuable grouping, although it is still underutilised in many ways. One of the most effective ways that these countries could work together to enhance maritime security in the
The Lowy Institute’s Richard McGregor has noted the absence of China discussion in Australia’s current election campaign, a state of affairs which prompted his colleague Sam Roggeveen to observe that “Bipartisanship on China is becoming a form of collusion”. Given that the
With President Donald Trump part-way into his protracted tour of Asia, much of the focus has been on the North Korea threat, his personal relations with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and President Moon of South Korea, and his interaction with President Xi Jinping, China’s political strongman who
Boris Johnson’s ebullient pronouncements last week on a future Royal Navy freedom of navigation 'operation' in the Indo-Pacific region have attracted attention, but also criticism.
At the press conference following the “2+2” meeting of Australian/UK defence and foreign ministers (AUKMIN), on
Jakarta is only very slowly responding to Canberra's overtures for more joint security at sea. We have no choice but to persevere, writes Euan Graham.
Originally published in The Australian Financial Review. Photo: Getty Images/Barcroft Media
In this Report, Ashley Townshend and Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Professor Rory Medcalf examine China’s evolving maritime security conduct. They argue that China’s less confrontational but more strategically assertive behaviour has paradoxical implications for regional security,
The 10th East Asia Summit this weekend promises to be one of the most interesting bits of summitry in some time. This, the last stop on Malcolm Turnbull’s five-nation tour which has included one-on-one meetings with the top three on Forbes' Most Powerful List, is also likely to prove the most
After many months of intense debate inside the Obama Administration, the US conducted a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea on 26 October. The destroyer USS Lassen sailed for over an hour within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef, a low tide elevation (LTE; a feature that was
So, the much-heralded US freedom of navigation (FoN) operation in the South China Sea has finally seen daylight. The designated lead, the USS Lassen, is a guided missile destroyer which has already been patrolling the South China Sea in recent weeks. After leaving port in East Malaysia this
US-India relations are in good shape. The personal relationship between Modi and Obama appears excellent, there are big, ambitious ideas in the pipeline – like US assistance to Indian carrier development – and the strategic dialogue is getting deeper in several ways.
But things are falling
Thanks to advances in digital technologies, open-source intelligence (OSINT) is playing an increasingly important role in the mix of intelligence collected by state and non-state actors. Now and then The Interpreter will publish OSINT links instead of the weekly Digital Asia links to capture the
In this Report, Lowy Institute Research Associate Brendan Thomas-Noone and Nonresident Fellow Professor Rory Medcalf examine the implications of sea-based nuclear weapons for strategic stability in the Indo-Pacific.
This paper is part of a wider research and outreach project on nuclear
There were huge protests over the weekend in Japan against legislation, approved in principle by the Abe cabinet in July, which will reinterpret the Japanese Constitution to permit the very limited exercise of collective self-defence. This fierce public opposition to the normalisation of Japan's
Hegemon is a wickedly interactive multi-player/multi-round geostrategic game devised by the Potomac Foundation. Each player represents a country, fielding certain economic and military resources and possessing (secret) objectives.
Ranged across a gods-eye planetary gameboard, Hegemon is the '
By Dr Andrew Erickson, Associate Professor at the US Naval War College, and Research Intern Kevin Bond at the China Maritime Studies Institute, US Naval War College
China's burgeoning dredging fleet adds another piece to the country's 'Swiss Army Knife' of infrastructure developmental tools that
It's increasingly clear that China intends to use its artificial islands in the South China Sea for military purposes.
Admiral Harry Harris, commander of US Pacific Command, delivered this assessment on a panel that I was privileged to be part of at the Aspen Security Forum last week. Harris
Over the last two months, there has been noticeable progress on three separate fronts in Japan's 30-year process of 'renormalising' its' approach to external defence:
Last week, the Abe cabinet approved the 2015 Japanese Defence White Paper after revisions were made to make it focus more
Source: IMB data, compiled by Elliot Brennan.
On 1 April, a Malaysia-flagged tanker was attacked and hijacked by 15 to 25 armed pirates off the coast of Borneo. The crew was held hostage at gunpoint while the pirates transferred the tanker's gas cargo to their own vessel before escaping. The
Last month on The Diplomat, Van Jackson made an important argument about South Korea's increasingly notable silence on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea (South China Sea).
Jackson, like many analysts, recognises growing Chinese misbehaviour there, most obviously the destabilising
In this Lowy Institute Report Nonresident Fellows Linda Jakobson and Rory Medcalf identify both the real differences in interests between China and other powers in the Indo-Pacific, but also the sharp divergences in perceptions regarding China’s maritime strategic objectives
North Korea's apparently successful test of a workable submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) was big news over the weekend.
Signs that North Korea had been working on designing and testing both an SLBM and a submarine with the vertical missile launch tubes capable of firing them have been
“Divining the fluid element: from cooperation to conflict in Japan-China maritime relations” first appeared in Security Challenges, Vol. 11, No. 1 (2015), pp 51-73.
Posted here with the kind permission of the publisher, The Kokoda Foundation. http://www.kokodafoundation.org/
The US-Japan Defence Cooperation Guidelines are best thought of as an occasional re-branding exercise for the US-Japan alliance in response to changing strategic conditions. Following a review, a revised version of the Guidelines was announced on 27 April.
The 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation
Ashton Carter's inaugural trip to Asia as US Secretary of Defense went about as smoothly as he could have hoped.
The logic of visiting Tokyo and Seoul ahead of other capitals in the region is straightforward. Between them, Japan and South Korea host over 80,000 US military personnel and the bulk
This week’s Quick Comment podcast is with the new head of ANU’s National Security College and Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow, Professor Rory Medcalf, who last night delivered a speech in which he argued that Australia needs to rethink how it approaches and considers national security and
In this Analysis, Alan Dupont argues that successive Australian governments have failed to define an effective national defence strategy. Australia needs a defence strategy that counters threats across multiple domains, is based on more diverse regional defence relationships, and is underpinned by
One of the most important aspects of the recent dramatic shift in US-India relations has been the convergence in the two states' narratives about Asia. It's easy to forget that this change is palpable not just over a four-decade period, but even in the past six years alone.
In 2009, early in his
Within China's bureaucratic system, sometimes it is in an agency's interest to compete with others, rather than coordinate, in order to advance its own bureaucratic power and receive more funding.
Linda Jakobson's recent Lowy Report, China's Unpredictable Maritime Security Actors, highlights
Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope (Ret.) is a former First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Royal Navy. This is an extract from a presentation to a Lowy Institute international workshop on sea-launched nuclear weapons and strategic stability, held in Singapore earlier this year.
The role of nuclear
'China will work with other countries to further promote a harmonious maritime order.' Even after years of studying the maritime tensions on China's periphery, I had to check that I had not misread the 9 December Xinhua dispatch quoting Liu Jieyi, China's Ambassador to the UN.
Last week's Fifth Xiangshan Forum in Beijing demonstrated just how difficult it will be to resolve disputes in the South China Sea as long as key parties believe history must arbitrate the veracity of claims to sovereignty over contested islands.
Scholars, officials and military officers from all