On behalf of my Chairman Sir Frank Lowy as well as the Board and staff of the Lowy Institute, I would like to express my sadness at the news that our friend, colleague and mentor Owen Harries passed away yesterday.
When Owen joined the Lowy Institute as a Nonresident Fellow shortly after its
It would be difficult to think of anyone who has been more percipient about international affairs in recent decades than Owen Harries. Harries, who was the Australian ambassador to UNESCO as well as editor of the National Interest magazine for several decades in Washington, never occupied high
A lack of trust from the Australian population towards India is probably the last thing the Morrison government wants right now, as it seeks to shore up its relationship with its Indian Ocean neighbour. But a lack of trust it is: according to the 2020 Lowy Institute Poll, just 45% of Australians
Although the idea is hard to bear, we now all know that Australia’s 2019–20 bushfire catastrophe and the Covid-19 crisis will not be one-off historical events. Public health experts have long warned zoonotic disease pandemics will be on the rise due to global warming and ecological, behavioural
The conflict between India and China on their disputed Himalayan border may be an important turning point in their relationship. Australia should take the opportunity to show firm support for India over the issue.
Last week’s fighting between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh was the bloodiest
Sam Roggeveen is absolutely right. Australia’s China debate has been dramatically transformed over the past few years. Like him, I welcome a robust discussion about our relationship with Asia’s emerging power and our major trading partner. It’s a pity China’s citizens can’t have one about
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement today that Australia was being targeted by a “sophisticated state-based cyber actor” was curiously measured. On the one hand, the “targeting” necessitated a Prime Ministerial statement, guaranteeing widespread media coverage. On the other hand,
Australia’s national debate about China has been dramatically transformed over the last few years. China’s rise is arguably the most important thing to happen to Australia’s place in the world since federation, so the fact that we are debating its implications so openly and
It would be welcome for Marise Payne to give more interviews and public speeches like the one she delivered Tuesday evening about “Australia and the world in the time of Covid-19”. Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull made this very point about his “good friend of many years” in his
At the Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney last Friday night, a NSW police officer was caught on camera flashing the “OK” hand gesture as he passed by a group. This act has ignited a debate about whether or not the officer was signalling support for white supremacist ideology, as this hand
It is hardly surprising that many foreign policy developments that would normally feature in the news have lately been demoted well below the headlines, as domestic turmoil in the United States has dominated conversations across the country and the globe. Under more ordinary circumstances, two
Covid-19 has been an extremely difficult challenge for national policymakers. If policy and politics are about managing competing interests and prioritising different constituencies, the varied national Covid-19 responses point to the acute challenges of getting this balance right.
How do we
It is June 2021. An American destroyer sailing near a reef held by Beijing in the South China Sea has had a collision with a Chinese frigate that was attempting to drive it off. Both vessels have suffered multiple fatalities and, damaged, are at anchor near the reef.
While who was at fault is
Australian businesses in Southeast Asia are showing continued faith in regional economic integration despite the relatively lacklustre cross border political cooperation so far seen in response to the pandemic.
A new survey of Australian-connected businesses on
The forthcoming virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison assumes considerable significance for an India-Australia strategic partnership, particularly as it comes against the backdrop of heightened friction with China for both countries.
The tale has become accepted diplomatic folklore. In the telling, it was Australia, back in 2008 in the early days of the Rudd government, that decided to scuttle the then-nascent Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the four-way talks also involving Japan, the United States and India. To compound
China’s rise and assertive behaviour has been a source of concern to both India and Australia. While India prioritises its territorial disputes with China and China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean, Australia is concerned about growing tensions in Sino-US relations and the undesirable
Australia has not usually had a high profile in the Indian Ocean island states such as Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar. This despite Australia’s huge Indian Ocean littoral, presence of three oceanic territories, mutual Commonwealth links and substantial investment. Inter-governmental visits
“Flattery with a catch” is the best way to describe Donald Trump’s call to include Australia in an expanded Group of 7 meeting, or G7.
No doubt Canberra would love a seat at the top table. But the US President has also proposed bringing Russia back into the fold – which will be
Remarkably, for all the international attention on the plight of the Yazidi back in 2014 as Islamic State ravaged Iraq, it has taken until now, six years later, to bring the first charges of genocide.
A trial commenced last month in a German court of a man accused of murdering a Yazidi girl traded
China’s decision to impose heavy tariffs on Australian barley and the alleged connection with Australia’s call for an independent international investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic has been widely and intensively reported in recent weeks. What is more important now is to
Leaders of nations around the globe have resorted to the language of warfare to characterise their fight against Covid-19. From US President Donald Trump, who declared himself a “war president”, to China’s Xi Jinping committing to a “people’s war”, to Britain’s Prime Minister Boris
As India and Australia prepare for a virtual summit next month between prime ministers amid the coronavirus pandemic, a possible strategic initiative could involve the cooperative use of their respective island territories in the Indian Ocean for strategic purposes. India’s Andaman and Nicobar
Retail therapyWhen even the normally unflappable Trade Minister Simon Birmingham bluntly tells business to reduce ties with the country that has underpinned the Australian economy for two decades, a mood shift is afoot. It took some prodding, but Birmingham finally broke cover at the end of his ABC&
When the world is grappling with the kind of calamity few of us have experienced before, it can be easy to forget other crises. Climate change springs to mind. So, too, does the record level of human displacement around the world, a problem largely driven by conflict.
That brings us to the long-
A new narrative, advanced by the “wolverines” and like-minded commentators, is emerging and solidifying within Australia’s China “debate”. This narrative casts disliked Chinese policies as attacks on Australian sovereignty, and thus any problem in the bilateral relationship is instantly
In Episode 11 of COVIDcast, Jonathan Pryke, Director of the Pacific Islands Program, sat down with Dave Sharma, Liberal member for the federal seat of Wentworth, to discuss strengthening ties between Australia and the Pacific, and a potential Australia‒Pacific travel “bubble”. Sharma has
If the 15th-century philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli were alive today, he would surely have recognised the power of surveillance technologies that states such as China, Singapore, South Korea, and others have adopted in the fight against Covid-19. Patrol robots and drones, CCTV cameras and
While much has been written about Covid-19’s lasting effects on the world order, one aspect is becoming more evident: the world after the pandemic may not look so different to the one before it. As prominent US commentator Richard Haass writes, “Covid-19 will not so much change the basic
Last weekend news broke that the Chinese government was considering imposing large tariffs on Australian barley exports. Now, China-bound exports from four Australian meat processors have been suspended.
Following Australian calls for an independent inquiry into the early handling of Covid-19,
It’s got nothing to do with Covid-19, but a fascinating short passage in Malcolm Turnbull’s new memoir is illustrative of the challenges Scott Morrison faces in dealing with US President Donald Trump, and how much Australia can rely on the US as it squares off in an increasingly sharp rhetorical
Foreign Editor for The Australian, Greg Sheridan, got his hands on a copy of the yet-to-be-released Defence Strategic Update, and he wrote about it over the weekend.
The Strategic Update is yet to pass through cabinet, but if Sheridan’s account is accurate and the recommendations are
For Myanmar, the onset of Covid-19 has sparked a renewed crackdown in Rakhine and Chin states. These developments may not capture widespread attention – particularly as relations with China become increasingly fraught – yet they cannot be ignored, and must be recognised as a serious
A calculated leak? – Ben Scott
Local newspapers have published remarkable claims detailing Australia’s reported concern about suggestions coming out of Washington that the outbreak of Covid-19 may have been the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan rather than coming from an
Health v growth
The language of lockdown has certainly undergone a change, from Prime Minister Scott Morrison advocating six months of hibernation only a month ago to now warning the country cannot stay under the doona much longer.
But it is no surprise the government's rhetoric has shifted to
The success in containing the Covid-19 pandemic in both Australia and New Zealand has led to a novel idea – the opening up of trans-Tasman travel as long as each country is able to keep infections under control. It would be a ray of hope and normalcy, and an economic plus for both parties. While
While the Canberra political establishment has been sparring with China’s Foreign Ministry – and with Australian billionaires – much of the corporate elite has begun puzzling how to slipstream China’s post–Covid-19 economic recovery.
Optimists hope that Beijing will summon a massive
Jon Philp, who commenced as Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea early this month, is the 16th to serve as Australia’s lead diplomatic representative in Port Moresby. I know from experience that the role is unlike any other in the Australian foreign service. The incumbent has the
There are many reasons the world needs an independent inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus. After all, the pandemic has infected nearly three million people and taken around 200,000 lives worldwide, at latest count. And the world should push for one at the appropriate time. Properly and
One of the (many) astounding things that have come out of the Covid-19 crisis is just how fragile are Australia’s connections with the outside world. The government’s role in guaranteeing Australia’s communications, whether digitally or by sea or air, is one of the things that we will need to
This year, Anzac Day is different. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the enforcement of measures to keep people physically apart and the cancelling of public gatherings and events, including Anzac Day services and marches. This leaves Australians and residents who had planned to attend Anzac Day
Of all the regions in the world, the twin health and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have the potential to hit the Pacific the hardest.
Pacific Island nations supported Australia during our bushfire crisis, sending members of their defence forces and making donations to communities
Since it was first identified in the early 1980s, HIV/AIDS has infected an estimated 78 million people and killed 35 million. Although there have been significant advances in treating HIV, there is still no cure and no vaccine.
So there is a bitter sweet irony in the fact that Australian trials
The Morrison government needs to urgently consider how it might best help Indonesia manage the economic risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Indonesia faces a perilous outlook. The government is struggling badly to control the virus. Making matters far worse, Indonesia has also been among
When the Australian government asserted control over all new foreign investment two weeks ago in response to Covid-19, the move was sugar-coated with the reassurance the country was still open for business.
But with Prime Minister Scott Morrison now declaring his
Every government is struggling with the Covid-19 crisis, with one eye to the post-coronavirus world. In this context, it may be worth looking at the French perception of Australia and their prospects, and need, for enhanced cooperation after the crisis.
France increasingly sees Australia as a key
As Covid-19 spreads around the globe, it is precipitating a series of other shocks, one of which is a crisis in human movement. Australia, as one of the key migrant-receiving nations globally, is particularly affected.
The migration crisis currently unfolding in Australia is primarily one of
As important as the health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic and its containment are, leaders also need to start to think about the shape of the post–Covid-19 global economy.
If they don’t, we all face a serious risk of succumbing to the new anti-globalisation protectionism that is on