In January, the Chinese government released its third white paper on foreign aid, entitled “China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era”. It is worth taking a closer look at the Chinese-language original, which is more detailed in content than the English-language version
This week we launched the latest project to emerge from the Lowy’s Institute’s Australia’s Security and the Rules-Based Order project, a debate feature on America and the Rules-Based Order. It’s a textbook example of constructive public debate. Each of the six expert participants
Since the start of the pandemic, China and the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have become a key rallying point for a diverse array of political groups. This includes the Australian far right, which has seized on new opportunities related to China to radicalise and recruit throughout 2020.
It was probably only a matter of time before Damien O’Connor, not one of the leading lights in Jacinda Ardern’s second-term Cabinet, stepped into some diplomatic doo-doo. But in an interview with CNBC, New Zealand’s Trade Minister has done so in spectacular style. He gets douze points for
When China came for their kimchi, South Koreans knew they had had enough. Over the past several weeks, China’s state-backed Global Times has turned its crosshairs on Korea’s beloved fermented cabbage dish, running a provocative series of pieces asserting a version of the dish from China’s
Earlier this month, rumours began to swirl on both Chinese and international social media regarding the “disappearance” of Jack Ma, China’s most prominent businessman. Absent from a television episode on which he was scheduled to appear, the notable no-show has not been seen publicly since
It has been now 772 days since Michael Kovrig, a diplomat on leave from Canada’s foreign ministry, and Michael Spavor, a Canadian business consultant living in China, were detained by Chinese authorities in apparent retaliation for the arrest ten days earlier by Canadian authorities of Meng
For years, Chinese television dramas were the poor cousins of Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese soap operas. A 2018 Chinese remake of the Taiwanese show Meteor Garden is a good example. Following the tensions between a poor girl and four rich boys, the mainland version was unwatchable. A drama about
Interpreter columnist Greg Earl started the year noting the economic challenge of the two big Cs – China and climate change. A few weeks later, there was suddenly a third: corona. Roland Rajah:
Australia’s tourism and education exports to China would appear most in the firing line.
US President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to select retired Army General Lloyd Austin to be his Secretary of Defense triggered a somewhat predictable set of hot takes among US academics and commentators. Aside from questions about what his appointment would mean for civil-military relations, a major
On the wintry night of 27 November 1950, Chinese troops suddenly descended upon the US 1st Marine Division and the 31st Regimental Combat Team around the frozen Chosin Reservoir, less than 100 kilometres away from the China-Korea border. Having failed to dissuade the United States with words from
Two recent naval exercises demonstrate the potential for Russia-China cooperation in the Indian Ocean, and how the two present a much greater threat to a continued US role and influence in the region than either would individually.
Last year, South Africa hosted a maritime exercise with
For all the quandaries thrown up by 2020, this has been an important year for Indonesia-China relations. The ties between Jakarta and Beijing have increased and expanded, not only in political and economic fields, where China is now Indonesia’s most crucial trading partner and investor, but also
In this episode of COVIDcast, Sam Roggeveen, Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Security Program, sits down with the two leading researchers behind the Lowy Institute’s 2020 Asia Power Index
Last week, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian posted on Twitter a fake image which portrayed an Australian soldier with a bloody knife next to a child holding a lamb. The Australian government was outraged, describing it as “disinformation”.
This is just the latest episode of the
The Australian government’s approach to its biggest foreign policy challenge is not working. There needs to be less conflict and more statecraft. Originally published in the Australian Financial Review.
Food for thought
Picking winners and sacrificing national interests are two things that conservative politicians usually like to hold out as anathema.
But it says a lot about how the meltdown in relations with China is changing economic diplomacy that they are exactly what the federal
With a wicked and now infamous tweet, Australia has joined India, the US, Canada, and the Pope on a list of those China’s “wolf warrior” diplomat in chief Zhao Lijian has deliberately provoked. By reacting with fury we’ve done what a troll would hope.
Internet trolling referred
No doubt you have seen the offending tweet already. If you’re in the mood to be outraged, it is still pinned to the top of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian’s Twitter feed. Outrage was clearly on the minds of our politicians: the PM called a snap press conference to condemn the
Australia could model itself in part on Singapore to ensure it could still thrive in an Asian region increasingly dominated by China, according to Fareed Zakaria, the author and foreign affairs commentator.
Zakaria was speaking at the annual Lowy Lecture, delivered this year via satellite from the
Trust between Australia and China is at a nadir. Little more than a year ago, the prospects for positive long-term engagement remained strong – not just for business ties, but also for that most peculiarly Australian game. AFL club Port Adelaide had taken Australian football to Shanghai for the
China’s strategy in responding to concerns about its intentions in the South China Sea is to claim that none of the activities, statements or behaviours that concern other countries are actually happening.
China claims it has not militarised the South China Sea, but that the United States
The latest complaints from China against Australia, neatly bundled into a series of 14 perceived disputes, makes painfully clear how ties between the two countries are straining. Yet Australia is not the only country to have felt the wrath of China’s coercive diplomacy.
Railways are a natural pillar of overland transport for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, given their large capacity. But there is an obstacle to getting direct services across the borders and into neighbouring countries: different rail gauges.
With the exception of North Korea, which uses
A man who has earned a reputation for compromise and dealmaking over his half-century in Washington, Joe Biden has also won the presidency by presenting himself as a national unifier, while simultaneously putting forward a policy agenda that some consider to be the most progressive in American
At a speech before the UN General Assembly on 22 September, China’s President Xi Jinping made the world’s single largest climate commitment to date by stating that China would become carbon neutral by 2060. The significance of this statement for the global fight against climate change cannot be
Australia and the Republic of Korea (ROK or South Korea) stand as critical security partners with the United States, and have supported the open, rules-based international order for well over half a century. Both have shed blood in this mission, standing with the US in every war since the Korean war
All the talk of “mateship” and ever “deepening ties” in relation to our alliance with the US tends to obscure the competitive nature of foreign policy. Originally published in the Australian Financial Review
On 13 November, the finance ministers and central bankers of the G20 will hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss action to help poor countries struggling to pay debts. A key issue will be getting China, the world’s largest bilateral creditor, to play a more active role.
The push by China’s&
The “who won” question isn’t quite resolved. Bleary-eyed pundits fossicking over every county result are making about as much sense – and as much noise — as a flock of seagulls scrabbling for chips on the beach. Joe Biden might just have the numbers. But Donald Trump hasn’t been blown
On 29 October, at the Fifth Plenum of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the year 2027 was mentioned for the first time in the same breath as army building and modernisation. Some foreign media interpreted this as Beijing’s announcement that the goal for the People’s
Book review: Thomas Orlik China: The Bubble that Never Pops (Oxford University Press, 2020)
Way back in 2001, Gordon Chang wrote a book entitled The Coming Collapse of China. Western analysts of China have been predicting a crisis ever since. Among the many concerns have been China’s massive
Book Review: Geoff Raby, China’s Grand Strategy and Australia’s Future in the New Global Order (Melbourne University Press, 2020)
Since the middle of the 19th century, four periods in Australian history have been marked by intense antagonism towards China: the gold rushes of the 1850s; the
The Chinese government has officially encouraged women to have equal roles in social, economic and political life. Still, traditional culture and practice continue to subject women to lower social status inside families (especially in rural areas), in the media, and in employment, including in the
Will the bell Toll?
The quiet flood of Japanese investment into Australia over the past few years amid at times mounting alarm about much lower levels of Chinese investment has been regularly noted here.
But the astounding story of corruption and mismanagement inside the largest single Japanese
Australia is creating its own “China problem” by not adequately funding research, cultural and language training, and by not taking seriously the national security implications of underfunding support for international students.
Research collaborations have been under the spotlight, with
The Mekong, Southeast Asia’s most important river, has for millennia supported the rise and fall of empires and is responsible for the livelihood of over 65 million people who live directly on its riverbanks, relying on the river for food, accommodation and employment. The river
“China would be welcomed as an arbitrator in negotiations [for peace in Afghanistan] and should not leave matters of such a great importance solely to the US.”
So said Maulana Samiul Haq, the so-called “Father of the Taliban”, in 2018. Peace talks between the Afghan government and the
Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic seen as Russia’s most loyal ally in Central Asia, has been rocked by unrest after a disputed parliamentary election held on 4 October. Moscow’s reactions to the Kyrgyz crisis have so far been relatively ambivalent, even though the nation hosts a Russian
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade describes Australia and New Zealand as “natural allies with a strong trans-Tasman sense of family”. New Zealand claims it has “no better friend than Australia”. But differing approaches to their relations with China have been a point of divergence
When the last of the big four state-owned Chinese banks listed a decade ago, one could be forgiven for thinking that the age of mega Chinese financial listings was over. After all, with financial services being such a strategic sector for the Chinese Communist Party, who would have thought that the
Recently in a tweet, Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi complained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “has destroyed the web of relationships that the Congress built and nurtured over several decades”. He then added rather vaguely that “living in a neighbourhood with no friends is dangerous