Last week, Peter Dutton gave his first speech as Minister for Defence.
In his remarks and follow up Q&A, Dutton touched on the increasing risk of war “especially through miscalculation or misunderstanding”, the challenge of China, and the relationship with the United States as being “
Worker vs worker vs student
Almost five million Kiwis have always been at least cousins. And Scott Morrison’s distinctive contribution to regional security has been his embrace of about 10 million other islanders as “our Pacific family”.
But in a week of rhetoric about international
It would have been so easy. In response to the G7 resolution “to achieve an overwhelmingly decarbonised power system in the 2030s” with focus on stopping investment in traditional coal power plants, the Australian PM could have simply said “that’s right, same here, and by the way we will cut
Susannah Patton and Ashley Townshend argued in The Interpreter last week that the Morrison government should steer the Biden administration away from a coalition of world democracies since that would narrow Australian and American influence in the Indo-Pacific.
An inflexible insistence that
After a long period of uber-bipartisanship in the handling of China relations, Labor has opened a clear line of attack on the Morrison government.
Last month, at the Canberra launch of Nine columnist Peter Hartcher’s new book, The Red Zone, shadow foreign affairs minister Penny Wong said
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, director of the Lowy Institute's Power and Diplomacy Program Hervé Lemahieu talks with Lord Adair Turner, chair of the Energy Transitions Commission, about global climate politics leading up to COP26 in Glasgow 2021
En route to his first in-person meeting with President Joe Biden this weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for coordinated action among liberal democracies to compete with China in the Indo-Pacific. His speech to the Perth USAsia Centre on Wednesday will be well-received by the US
While Australian exporters were shocked by the pace and extent of China’s trade sanctions last year, it now appears that investors were more quietly making their own exit.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) annual country data released last month shows that Australian
Recent media reports suggest that different perspectives on maritime boundaries are creating tensions between Australia and Indonesia. An Indonesian border negotiator told The Australian Financial Review last month that talks between Australia and Indonesia on maritime boundaries had restarted in
Australians are no strangers to the “climate wars”. For more than a decade, the politics of responding to global warming has felled prime ministers amid policy failures and repeals, leaving the country with a comparatively weak climate pledge. Destructive politics have overflowed into the lives
Two weeks after the end of the hiatus on flights from India to Australia, the repatriation of the 9,000-plus Australian citizens who wish to return home has resumed, albeit slowly. But the repercussions are immense: at least two Australian citizens died from Covid-19 in India in recent weeks, and
With US President Joe Biden putting climate change at the centre of US foreign policy, Australia is facing increasing pressure from its closest ally to do more. John Kerry, the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, has said the Australian government is not on the “same page” as the rest of the
A recent report in the Sydney Morning Herald found that Australian media outlets quote the Global Times more often than they quote either China’s President Xi Jinping or members of the Chinese embassy in Canberra. This diet from a daily tabloid – viewed in the media industry as a source of
It may not have been intended, but a map deep inside last week’s federal budget papers seems to sum up the Australian government’s economic diplomacy strategy: preparing for life after China.
While it is titled “top export destinations”, arrows zoom to all major trading
Scott Morrison’s odd choice of words about Taiwan won’t shift the consensus that his government remains wedded to unaccommodating positions on China. Only days after the Prime Minister was defending his surprise formula on cross-Strait relations, Canberra China’s debate was back in more
The failure of the Australian government to return citizens and permanent residents from New Delhi on the first repatriation flight to Darwin since the recent shutdown of air travel from India amounts to an Australian policy failure and a breach of international law.
A travel ban on direct flights
In late 2019, I published a short book titled Our Very Own Brexit, which argued that Australia might one day break from Asia as Britain had broken from Europe. The trigger I envisioned for such a break would be a debate about population, with one of our major parties defecting from the long-standing
The term “political science,” as many have observed, is somewhat of an oxymoron. Of all fields of scholarly pursuit, politics is comparatively ill-suited to the processes of the scientific method. Political systems and policies cannot exactly be isolated in a laboratory. The “data sets” of
The “DarkSide” ransomware cyber-attack on the US-based gasoline facility Colonial Pipeline, which has disrupted East Coast fuel supplies and invoked emergency legislation, has once again highlighted the vulnerability of a nation’s critical infrastructure to malicious cyber activity. In
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, Roland Rajah, Lowy Institute Lead Economist, sits down with Dr Ross Garnaut to discuss the ideas in his new book, Reset: Restoring Australia after the Pandemic Recession
In Australia’s budget last year, delayed until October responding to the unprecedented global health and economic crisis brought on by Covid-19, the Coalition government increased spending on foreign aid from $4 billion to $4.417 billion for the financial year 2020–21. The release this week of
Since his death on 13 April, tributes to former Australian foreign minister and leader of the federal opposition Andrew Peacock have flowed from across the political divide. He has been remembered as a huge figure who left an “indelible” mark on Australia in the 1970s and 1980s. Former Liberal
The experience of crossing national borders has always been defined by inequality. A hierarchy of mobility determined those who were free and facilitated to move and those who faced many hurdles and restrictions to prevent them leaving home. But Covid-19 has challenged this mobility hierarchy.
First it was new carbon emission cuts, and then a global minimum corporate tax. But it is hard to beat the Biden administration’s move to shaft the pharmaceutical industry lobby over vaccine patents for putting the US back at the heart of global public policy.
The devil will be in
Now that the Morrison government has cancelled Victoria’s Belt and Road agreement with China, Australia is bracing for retaliation from Beijing, probably by way of further trade sanctions. When that retaliation arrives, what should Australia do about it?
There’s an old saying that “living
The Australian public are rightly proud of their efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost all Australians – 95% – believe Australia has handled the pandemic well, according to new Lowy Institute polling released today.
This is for good reason. Despite the slow vaccine rollout, Australia
Since the Davis aerodrome project in Antarctica was proposed in 2018 by the Australian government, there have been continuing debates about the potential environmental costs, as well as its geopolitical implications, in light of Australia’s sovereign claims to 42% of the frozen continent and
The recent floods in Timor-Leste have now caused 45 deaths and some 10,000 people to be displaced, including 7000 in the capital, with widespread damage to roads and bridges, and around 4500 dwellings destroyed. The government has called for international assistance, as a number of local non-
When the US and Japan kicked off a bid to take control of the next generation of mobile technology during a summit of their leaders last week, they also pushed the global debate over supply chains into a new orbit.
A key part of US President Joe Biden’s and Japan’s Prime
On 23 April 1910, at the Sorbonne in Paris, recently retired 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt delivered a speech entitled “Citizenship in a Republic”. Though delivered 111 years ago, his speech holds valuable lessons that a democratic country such as Australia should heed
When we look at progress in decentralisation in Papua New Guinea over the last 20 years – the sole continuous and overriding policy priority of successive governments – many challenges remain to improve downstream service delivery. Programming for “social accountability” shifts the focus
Next month brings the inauspicious one-year anniversary of China ramping up a campaign of trade punishment against Australia. Wine, barley, beef, lobster and coal have all been targeted. And there’s no end in sight.
Weary Australian government ministers could be forgiven for taking
Heavy rains from 29 March to 4 April caused floods and landslides in many parts of Timor-Leste, claiming more than 40 lives, displacing thousands of people and destroying critical infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Dili, the capital, has been the worst affected, as more than 12 hours of
On 19 March, the leaders of four important democracies of the Indo-Pacific region – the United States, Japan, Australia and India – held (virtually) their first-ever “Quad Summit.” This meeting at the leaders’ level of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue was significant on two counts.
In much of the world, Covid-19 infections continue apace, but the global economy is rapidly recovering from last year’s slump. World trade volumes and industrial production were both higher in January than they have ever been, according to data collected by the Netherlands central bank. Releasing
Australia and Vietnam officially became strategic partners in 2018, promising to expand cooperation across multiple domains. Yet economic ties have grown slowly from a relatively low starting point, while defence relations are mostly restricted to training and high-level dialogues. Education and
Tax and spend
US President Joe Biden may be grabbing the global headlines by boosting world growth with his big spending and international security with his telephone diplomacy. But US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seems to be doing the real heavy lifting in restoring American credibility in
Beginning last May, China has hit Australia with a barrage of trade sanctions in a fairly overt attempt at economic coercion. It’s still early days, but it’s worth taking stock of what the economic impact has been so far.
The fact that China’s trade sanctions have taken place
Last week, the United Nations held the 65th Commission on the Status of Women in New York, and virtually, with the theme “women’s full and effective participation and decision making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and empowerment of all
Earlier this month, the Lowy Institute released Being Chinese in Australia, one of the largest surveys of the Chinese Australian community. Around the same time, the Scanlon Foundation published its annual Mapping Social Cohesion report, which also includes a survey on the Chinese population in
The recent stoush between the Australian government and social media giant Facebook, with its eight-day-long ban of local news from its platform, had results that were not confined to Australia. Facebook’s block of Australian news also highlighted the vulnerability of information security in the
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was swift to claim former finance minister Mathias Cormann’s selection as Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) secretary-general as a tribute to Australia’s global influence.
“The appointment is recognition of Australia’s
In the late 1980s, while I was a reporter covering one of the mega-cyclones to hit Bangladesh, a government official in Dhaka confided in me that he was fed up with seeing his nation only make the global headlines as a result of the disasters that befell it.
Australia is fast catching up in that