Tuesday 22 Jun 2021 | 01:34 | SYDNEY
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People | experts Rory Medcalf
Nonresident Fellow
Lowy Institute
Rory Medcalf's picture
Areas of ExpertiseAsia-Pacific/Indo-Pacific strategic order; India and the Indian Ocean; maritime security; nuclear arms control

What Shinzo Abe actually said in Singapore

The Chinese rhetorical fireworks over Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last weekend have been so widely reported that we are at risk of losing a sense of what Mr Abe actually said. As Interpreter readers will recall, the speech was denounced by

West Point speech neglects East Asian security

Amid tensions in the South China Sea and new alarm about a China-Russia alignment, President Obama's speech at West Point sends some confusing signals to the countries of Indo-Pacific Asia.   To be fair, the speech was not meant to be principally about Asia. It was intended to draw a final line

Abbott goes to Asia: The security dimension

Prime Minister Abbott poses with the leaders of the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean military efforts searching for MH370 at RAAF Base Pearce. Tony Abbott is about to depart on the most important international visit of his prime ministership thus far. Over the next week he will visit Japan,

China's Peace Ark: For the record

With its sudden announcement of an unorthodox aerial ‘defence identification’ zone, along with its aircraft carrier’s first voyage into the South China Sea, China continues to send troubling signals about its strategic intentions in Asia. From a Chinese national interest point of view, this is

The 2014 Michael and Deborah Thawley Scholarship

Applications are now open for the 2014 Michael and Deborah Thawley Scholarship in international security at the Lowy Institute. The closing date is Wednesday 4 December at 5pm. The Scholarship is an exceptional opportunity for an emerging Australian strategic thinker — such as a junior official

Second thoughts on Kevin Rudd

If there can be such a play as a diplomatic tragedy, then the story of Kevin Rudd as a foreign-policy and defence-policy prime minister would fit the bill. He had a far-sighted vision of Australia’s interests and what needed to be done to advance and protect them in a changing Asia and a changing

Typhoon Haiyan and the geopolitics of disaster relief

Amid the horrific human tragedy, it may feel heartless to speculate about the strategic consequences of the typhoon that has taken more than 10,000 lives in the Philippines. But you can be sure such thinking will be well underway within governments all around Asia and the wider Indo-Pacific, even

New US report on Australia's alliance role a mixed bag

I have mixed feelings about a big new report from a US defence think tank on Australia’s potential role as a US ally in the Indo-Pacific. Sure, it will help focus US minds on the alliance in the lead-up to the next high-level AUSMIN meeting on 19-20 November, but at risk of the kind of publicity

Why the NSA furore may be good for spies

The outcry over the extent to which the NSA and other agencies collect intelligence electronically will have some notable policy consequences. Already, there are reports of a mutual non-spying agreement between the US and Germany, a de facto extension of one aspect of the ‘five eyes’ arrangement

China naval exercise stokes Japan's fears

So China is accusing Japan of ‘dangerous provocation’ over its alleged monitoring of Chinese naval exercises in the Western Pacific.  Amid the prolonged tensions between the two North Asian powers, this is a new twist. In the past, it has typically been Japan accusing China of perilous maritime

Indo-Pacific security links

'Indo-Pacific' is an increasingly recognised term in the analysis of Asian strategic issues. Of course, there’s debate about what it means and the extent to which such a super-sized region can be a meaningful frame of reference for policymaking. And its subregions of North Asia, South Asia and

The Indo-Pacific: What's in a name?

In this essay in The American Interest, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf explains the rise of an Indo-Pacific conception of Asia. He argues that this emerging maritime super-region is defined in large part by China’s expanding economic and strategic horizons. To manage China’

Making sense of Sydney's sea power festival

  A hundred years ago, the Royal Australian Navy's first fighting fleet steamed into Sydney Harbour. In recent days the city has hosted several huge events to mark that centenary — an international fleet review, a fireworks spectacular, and a conference with some of the big guns from the world of

Australia, Asia and the West

In this article for Aspenia Online, Rory Medcalf examines the foreign policy challenges facing the Abbott government, arguing that it must focus on charting a secure course in an era of increasingly rich and powerful Asian states