2014 marked the 70th anniversary of the Bretton Woods conference, and it was a turning point for the global financial architecture. In July that year, the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – established the New Development Bank (NDB). A few months earlier, China
It is now nearly 17 months since the Trump administration began collecting 25% tariffs on the first tranche of Chinese imports to the US – time enough to evaluate the economic impact the trade war so far.
That impact? Surprisingly little.
It is certainly true that comparing the first nine
Book review: Paul Blustein: Schism: China, America, and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System (CIGI Press, 2019)
Paul Blustein has produced an enviable bookshelf of behind-the-scenes reportage on international economic institutions, both as a journalist (for The Washington Post and The
In the wake of escalating US-Iran tensions in the Persian Gulf, the geopolitical realities of the Asian region are rapidly changing. New strategic alliances are being formed as old partnerships give way.
A good example is the trouble surrounding a three-way transit agreement between Iran, India,
After a roller-coaster ride spanning 18 months, the trade war between the United States and China is finally showing signs of abatement, with the two sides confirming that they are close to the conclusion of a phase-one deal. While the signing of the deal, which was originally scheduled to take
Over its 18-year existence, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has mostly been in the spotlight as a forum for security cooperation, starting with the 2001 Convention that branded crimes of extremism, separatism, and terrorism as extraditable offences. The region is still facing significant security
When then–Prime Minister Tony Abbott was asked by Angela Merkel about Australia’s relations with China, he summed it up, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, in two words: “Fear and greed”. For a visual embodiment of such sentiment, take the graph charting which countries have been buying the bulk of
It is not yet agreed, may yet fail, and is anyway unlikely to settle matters, but the impending “phase one” trade deal could be a useful ceasefire in the US economic war with China. Two years on from the US initiation of penalty tariffs on China, it is also a convenient moment to point to a few
China is going berserk for blockchain these days, and doing so with oh-so-very Chinese characteristics.
The recent hype is certainly not without cause. After years of cautious support for the game-changing digital ledger technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Beijing has been
As India struggles to manage China’s economic and diplomatic influence in its immediate neighbourhood, it has recently made progress in building more robust ties with four crucial island states in the Indian Ocean: Mauritius, the Maldives, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka. What has been done – and what
On 3 October, Vladimir Putin confirmed that China and Russia have forged a multidimensional alliance in economics, politics, and defense. This announcement both confounds the many observers who refused to accept it as a possibility and significantly transforms the stakes not just in Asia, but in
The US trade war against China launched by President Donald Trump has hitherto lacked a clear moral dimension. There are economic arguments – that China insists on tilting the playing field by blocking certain foreign companies, forced local partnerships for foreign firms, or intellectual property
Under the constitutional principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, as stated in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hong Kong’s capitalist system and way of life would remain unchanged for 50 years after the 1997 handover from British to Chinese rule. As a reassurance, Deng Xiaoping, the
In the last two years China’s engagement in the Pacific – particularly through its aid program – has sparked alarm in Canberra. The spiking orange line in 2017 is part of the story.
In 2017 China committed to spend almost US$5 billion in the Pacific. US$4.1 billion of that was to upgrade
In the space of just a few decades, China has risen to the rank of a world power, and certainly an Asian regional power. And now China and the US have locked horns in a great-power struggle over trade, foreign investment, intellectual property, technology-transfer policies, industrial policy, cyber
Small states are states too. They have their own agency, their own interests, and their own preferences, and it is important they do not see the world through the perspectives offered by the US-China binary.
This was the main point of the speech I gave this month in Beijing as Malaysia’s Deputy
If there’s any indication of how Africa is moving up on everyone’s agenda, look no further than the first edition of the Russia-Africa Summit, which saw 43 African heads of state converging last week on Sochi. Beyond the fact that the summit reflects the brisk trade Moscow does with the
I thought to myself, here’s Xi Jinping walking past, here’s a chance to ask him a question. But instead he just gave me a wan look and a bodyguard quickened a step to put himself in the way, allowing the delegation to brush by before I got a word out.
It was Vice President Xi back then, in
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a foreign policy speech to the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. Australia’s foreign policy analysts can be very grateful for these candid remarks, because they should prompt Canberra to rethink its policy stance on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the “
At the current meeting in Hobart for CCAMLR, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, Australia is once again moving to establish marine sanctuaries off the east of Antarctica with the support of the US, Europe, and a coalition of environmental organisations. And
As the demonstrations roll on in Hong Kong, the narrative surrounding the protests is as unclear as the tear gas clouds in Causeway Bay. While the visual drama tells a certain story, and the #fivedemandsnoless hashtag gives some clues, it’s difficult for many looking on around the world to discern
In his 2018 book The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities, international relations scholar John Mearsheimer argues that many of America’s post–cold war foreign policy failures have ultimately been the result of a misguided strategy of a pursuit of “liberal hegemony”, an
Solomon Islands made international headlines last week, with the New York Times running a story, “China is leasing an entire Pacific island. Its residents are shocked”.
While the last part of the headline is not in question, the first part of the headline is doubtful. Reading through the four
Chinese officials have recently given some important indications about the design of China’s much-anticipated – and much-hyped – national carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS), scheduled to be launched next year.
Crucially, the scheme, which will initially cover facilities in the power-
You may have seen photos in recent days of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hunched over a beach, picking up rubbish. While the images presented an opportunity for media to write about ocean pollution, there was actually an even bigger event at play: an informal summit between India and China.
In a week which began with images of Xi Jinping waving at his own giant portrait in a military parade for the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) 70th anniversary, it ended in an even more surreal manner – with a cartoon Winnie the Pooh being strangled to death in a Chinese gulag. Ordinarily
It is only a start, but the Friday trade talks agreement between China and the US is still the best news for the world economy in the almost three years since Donald Trump won the presidential contest. This agreement is sufficient to keep the talks going, which last week was in doubt. More
China’s Christians are suffering again, as Beijing continues to implement leader Xi Jinping’s policy of “sinicisation” of religion that, in effect, means making adherents to all religions more loyal to the ruling Communist Party, rather than to their conscience.
It is now a little more
Marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic, China’s Xi Jinping delivered a speech at Tiananmen Square on 1 October declaring “no force can stop Chinese people and nation from marching forward”.
It was at that same square in 1949 that Mao Zedong proclaimed victory
After Malaysia became the first country to tear up its corruptly overpriced BRI deals in 2018, this year has seen a shift in the rhetoric around China’s grand strategy. The second phase of the Belt and Road Initiative is shifting focus from grand infrastructure projects like ports and rail to
From trade to cyber, from the South China Sea to outer space, strategic rivalry between the United States and China is shaping the international order. The polar regions seem no exception.
At the recent Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council held in Rovaniemi, Finland, US Secretary of State
Paying the piper
Last Thursday as Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne was talking up the role of values in foreign policy to a business audience in Canberra, Indonesia was promoting its tourism investment opportunities to a different business gathering in Sydney.
It will probably never be
The discussion about China’s bid for baby-formula supplier Bellamy’s Organic shows the usual confusion about just what should guide decisions on foreign investment in Australia.
Of course there will be some proposals that are defence-strategic. But baby formula is not one of them. Nor is
“A vacuum simply offers opportunities for others to fill it up.”
That observation was offered by Vanuatu Member of Parliament Johnny Koanapo in a recent Facebook post. The Opposition MP is a former Director General of Foreign Affairs, and has been instrumental in several bilateral and
This country’s diverse Chinese-Australian communities are hurting. From conversations with friends, I gather they feel burdened by an obligation to show loyalty to Australia that others simply take for granted. Some report feeling caught in the crossfire between a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
A rare image on social media of Indonesian paratroopers dropping into the troubled West Papua province this month was a stark reminder that, even in the age of 24/7 news, governments are good at keeping the cameras, and the world’s attention, away from persecuted communities.
West Papua – the
This article is based on the Little Red Podcast episode “Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? Inside the Solomons’ Big Switch.”
Taiwan’s relations with Solomon Islands started by chance, and now hang on chance. Within the next few weeks, the island nation will decide on whether to switch
One day (well, on 20 May of this year, to be precise) as Opposition Leader you’re launching a discussion document on your party’s international policies. “National’s positioning on international relations issues is anchored in our values,” you say.
Those values are rooted in our country
As digital technology and information become more sophisticated, so does the Chinese internet and the ways in which it influences its people’s behaviour. It has established a “closed loop” of state media, homegrown internet companies, and censorship – blocking access to foreign platforms and
Between April and June this year, Chinese Coast Guard ships entered the contiguous zone around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea for a record 64 consecutive days. In this flashpoint area between China and Japan, the number of Chinese incursions into the islands’ territorial
Recently, China entered the market as an exporter of used cars overseas. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce revealed the populous African nation of Nigeria as one of the destinations for 300 cars in the first batch of freight. The vehicles included brands such as Land Rover, Toyota, Hyundai,
Despite an optimistic bounce in global financial markets Friday, the relentless trade war between the US and China resumed Sunday. Threatened 15% tariffs by the US on another $250 billion of China imports went into effect Sunday morning, as did new China tariffs on US crude oil, soybeans and
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to arrive in China on Wednesday for his fifth presidential visit to China in less than three years. His predecessor, President Benigno Aquino III, made only one trip to China, in 2011. China is Duterte’s most visited presidential destination.
You will have seen the news, possibly on Facebook or Twitter. This week, Facebook and Twitter announced that they had addressed coordinated activity on each of their platforms which appeared to be pushing a pro-Beijing message in the face of ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Together, they removed
Many of The Interpreter’s readers are experts on the theory and conduct of international relations. So, quite reasonably, they look at armed conflict through the lens of inter-state relations, where one state resorts to the use (or the threat of use) of armed force to prevail over another. For
On Sunday, more than 1.7 million Hongkongers braved torrential rain for yet another massive and peaceful rally. The astonishing size of the turnout might have caught some people off-guard, especially those who believed that the movement has already lost its public support after violent clashes among
Make no mistake about China’s vast and continuous trajectory of technological expansionism. Even as the US aims to ring-fence Huawei’s reach into the US and overseas consumer markets, a “digital silk road” paved by Chinese tech giants has long been built to span from the Asia-
Tensions have risen once again in the South China Sea. For weeks, Chinese and Vietnamese coastguard vessels have been involved in a confrontation after the Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 (HD8) entered waters near the Vietnam-controlled Vanguard Bank on 3 July. The incident has upset both Hanoi
In the latest episode of the Lowy Institute’s new half-hour podcast, Rules Based Audio, I’m talking to Lowy Institute Research Fellow Ben Bland and Hong Kong-based Financial Times journalist Primrose Riordan about the roots of the ongoing political unrest in the city, and where it
For all the back-and-forth Hugh White has generated with his latest book, How to Defend Australia, in a national preoccupation with the China question, little serious discussion has been devoted to how to defend Australia’s southern front and cope with China’s increasing Antarctic footprint.