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Tuesday 11 Aug 2020 | 23:47 | SYDNEY

australia-china relations

At AUSMIN 2014, let's talk about naval force posture

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrives in Sydney, 11 August 2014. (Department of Defence.) US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel touched down in Sydney today for the annual AUSMIN meetings between Australian and US foreign policy and defence leaders, which start tomorrow. There will be no shortage of crises for the leaders to discuss, from coup rumours in Baghdad to the ongoing conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine.

The dangers of SSBN proliferation in Indo-Pacific Asia

  It has become commonplace to lament the arms races underway in Indo-Pacific Asia. China's military modernisation over the last two decades has helped provoke heightened political tensions and growing concern in capitals from Tokyo to New Delhi to Washington and Moscow. North Korea's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems keeps tensions in Northeast Asia high. The Indian subcontinent is home to two nuclear powers that have fought four wars over the last 65 years.

New Lowy Institute paper urges Indo-Pacific middle powers to band together

In a new Lowy Institute Analysis launched today, International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf and Nonresident Fellow C Raja Mohan argue that Indo-Pacific middle powers should look to build security coalitions in response to changing power balances in Asia. China's increasing assertiveness and doubts about America's role in the Indo-Pacific have resulted in enhanced security cooperation between middle powers in the region.

SSBNs are unnecessary and destabilising

A Chinese Type 094 (Jin-class) SSBN. (Wikipedia.) Regarding the Chinese and Indian ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) programs and their impact on international security, my arguments are: (1) they are not necessary; (2) noisy SSBNs are destabilising and should not be deployed; and (3) China's SSBNs are still far from being operational.

Why sea-based nuclear weapons won't stabilise the Indo-Pacific

China, India and possibly Pakistan intend to deploy nuclear weapons at sea. Ultimately, such deployments may well have a stabilising effect — that is, they may reduce the risk of full-scale war and nuclear use. Sea-based nuclear weapons might, for instance, fit well with 'no-first-use' doctrines. They might also encourage reduced investment in more destabilising forces such as weapons fired from fixed sites, which are vulnerable and thus suited to a 'first strike'.

Indo-Pacific security links: Collective self-defence, North Korea collapse, Indonesia's police and more

The Indo-Pacific is a strategic system encompassing the Indian and Pacific oceans, reflecting the expanding interests and reach of China and India as well as the enduring role of the US. The Lowy Institute's International Security program presents a weekly selection of links illuminating the changing security picture in this increasingly connected super-region.

Linking corruption, social unrest and international security

We're a little late on this one, but a recent Carnegie Endowment paper on the links between corruption, social unrest and international instability is worth highlighting: Systemic corruption has an unrecognized bearing on international security. Policymakers and private companies often pay insufficient attention to corruption when deciding what foreign and defense policies to pursue or where to invest.


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