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
According to numerous commentators, the country happiest with the “no deal” outcome for the Kim-Trump summit in Hanoi last week was Japan. Fearful that President Donald Trump, in his pursuit of a big win, would not keep Japanese interests in mind, many in Tokyo expected the worst.
Having an “America First” president elected on the MAGA platform left many Australians anxious about the future of US engagement in our region. But Trump’s tweets and meetings with despots may be distracting from a coherent and almost traditional Republican foreign policy in Asia.
Despite inflated pre-summit expectations that US President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un would sign a deal involving at least some sanctions relief, liaison offices, an end of war declaration, and agreement for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear facilities, the fact that Hanoi
Following the Trump-Kim summits and a gush of commentary on “presidential diplomacy”, “face-to-face diplomacy”, “summit diplomacy”, and even “Trumpian diplomacy”, we’ve somehow come to accept politicians as diplomats. It may be time to recall the difference – before it
For those of us with an internationalist viewpoint, watching the Brexit process unfold in the context of the Trump Presidency has left us demoralised and despondent. In both cases, we see the rise of populism and demagoguery in great liberal democracies. We see chaos, a self-inflicted wound. And we
There is enormous uncertainty now about the failure of the summit in Hanoi between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. There will be a natural rush by hawks and doves to frame this, respectively, as proof that North Korea is belligerent and overdemanding, or that
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
The test launch of a SpaceX astronaut capsule to the International Space Station (without astronauts aboard) is cause for celebration. It marks the debut of the first crew-carrying orbital spacecraft from America since the development of the Space Shuttle decades ago. But it also signifies the
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
Assessing the import and impact of the Trump-Kim summits is a challenge. The visual spectacle of the two “colourful” leaders, both of whom prize the optics almost more than the substance of meetings, can prove highly distracting.
Viewed from Beijing or Pyongyang’s perspective, the two
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to begin two days of talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, in what will be their second meeting within eight months. While it might not draw as much attention as the earlier landmark event in Singapore, the Hanoi summit is expected to produce
Before the Singapore summit, President Donald Trump took to Twitter with a message:
Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself. I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic
Since 1963, the Munich Security Conference has been a fixture on the international scene. During the Cold War it was an important forum for debate on the West’s policy towards the Soviet Union. It was often described as a “transatlantic family meeting.”
Last weekend I attended the 2019
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 the November 2018 midterm elections, Americans voted for a Democratic House of Representatives that now possesses broad authority to investigate the Trump administration’s competence, conduct and potential corruption. Democrats appear ready to seize the political moment, despite Trump’s
The news is in. US President Donald Trump will meet North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un for the second time on February 27-28. Instead of Singapore, this time Vietnam will play host.
Although there are many concerns regarding the prospect of success for the second summit and North Korea’s
Donald Trump threw a meaty hypothetical on the table in the midst of his big set-piece speech to the US congress on the State of the Union.
“If I had not been elected president of the United States,” Trump declared, clearly relishing what he was about to say next, “we would right now, in my
If press reports are accurate, US President Donald Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un will again meet this month. They met for the first time last June in Singapore. Rumour suggests this meeting will be in Vietnam.
The first summit was sharply criticised as a photo-op for Trump –
The Taliban and the US have agreed, in principle, on a peace framework that will ensure the Taliban part ways with international terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda leading to a possible withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. The negotiations also focused on a comprehensive ceasefire and
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
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
Review: The President is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (Aldred A. Knopf, 2018)
Former US President Bill Clinton is a man of singular gifts – a highly intelligent policy wonk with an unmatched capacity to connect with voters through mastery of what we are obliged these days to
Last month, at his end-of-year press conference, the Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana called for a review of the 1951 US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). Under the terms of this treaty, either side can unilaterally withdraw.
When asked if post-review options
Book review: The World as It Is: Inside the Obama White House, by Ben Rhodes (Random House, 2018).
The slew of books that find their way to the shelves once a president has departed are often cagey, self-interested and read suspiciously like job applications. Ben Rhodes tries hard to avoid
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&
US Defense Secretary James Mattis has resigned. And yes, I use that term advisedly, because even though President Donald Trump is tweeting about Mattis’ “retirement”, it’s pretty clear that this is a resignation letter, not a retirement letter. And a pretty brutal one, too, by the formal and
Donald Trump’s announcement that he is pulling troops out of Syria is another example of the New York property developer turned president's decision-making style. If you don’t understand or don’t like the deal, then get out of it. All that matters is the bottom line.
In business this may
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
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
Recent revelations confirm that under President Donald Trump, the use of armed unmanned aerial systems, drones, in US combat operations has increased significantly. For example, in 2017–18, the Trump administration launched 238 drone strikes on Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, according to data from
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
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
George Herbert Walker Bush, who has died at age 94, will not reside in the top rank of American presidents, the Washingtons, the Jeffersons, the Roosevelts the Kennedys to name a few. But he will be remembered as a decent man who did his best in a long, distinguished public career.
A recent New York Times article has drawn much criticism from the US intelligence community for depicting North Korea’s continued missile development as “a Great Deception.”
Analysts have responded by proclaiming that North Korea has never agreed to cease its missile and nuclear
With its doctrine of scrupulous media balance – “they said, he said, we don’t know” – Western reporting on the latest phase in Russia’s relentless imperialist aggression against Ukraine has been as misleading as what has gone before.
Even the sight of Russian special forces swarming
With a series of state elections due and the federal election looming, there are important lessons that Australia needs to learn from the tone of US politics. In particular, there is a responsibility for Australia’s political leaders to act in ways that ensure, and do not undermine, the integrity
Newly announced US ambassador-designate to Australia, Arthur Culvahouse, comes to Australia at a moment of significant tension in US-China relations, with a growing consensus in the US that it is entering a period of competition with Beijing.
Policy documents such as the National Security
Donald Trump came to office with a more coherent worldview than other recent American presidents. For decades, he has held four core beliefs about the world.
First, Trump scoffs at the longstanding American commitment to international leadership and cooperation. Since the 1940s, American
The release of video footage from the bridge wing of USS Decatur which shows its recent close encounter with the Chinese destroyer Lanzhou in the South China Sea confirms the judgement that the PLA Navy ship did not act wisely in its approach to the US Navy unit in response to the latter’s freedom
The US midterm results are rolling in. The House of Representatives appears to have fallen under Democrat control, while former presidential candidate Mitt Romney has won himself a seat in the Senate, where the Republicans have comfortably retained a majority. As of a few minutes ago, The New York
One of the worst clichés of US politics is that the next election is the most important ever/in your lifetime/in recent history, and so on.
When I worked in US politics in the 1990s, I heard this all time. Americans are bewitched by the notion that elections represent major turning points in
Typically, Vladimir Putin answered Washington’s decision this month to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by making new nuclear threats against Europe. His posturing underscored why this was the right decision.
Better known as the INF Treaty, this agreement was signed in 1987
A New York Times article this month revealed a new tactic in the US war against election disinformation. US election officials had notified Russians suspected of involvement in online disinformation campaigns in the lead up to the mid-term elections that they were “on notice”, and that their
The past week says a lot about the quagmire that Chinese President Xi Jinping has found his country in, as his American counterpart Donald Trump has shown no sign of de-escalating the trade war rhetoric.
It also offers a glimpse into the most powerful post-Mao leader’s political and strategic
The alleged extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and the international condemnation that followed, reflects not only rivalry in the Middle East, but also greater anxiety about the direction of liberal democracy and the international rule of law more broadly.
Last week, US President Donald
For all the talk about the broken nuclear deal, it might seem a surprise to learn of an old agreement between the United States and Iran that is still in force.
The move to dismantle international agreements only makes diplomacy harder and belligerence easier.
The US-Iran Treaty of Amity,