In the science-fiction classic Dune, the natural resource of “spice” represents the most valuable commodity in the universe, found only on the desert planet of Arrakis. Spice serves various purposes in Dune, but in both movie adaptations of the novel, Baron Harkonnen, former ruler of Arrakis,
A couple of months back, 70-year-old housewife Masi Zainab asked a charismatic local political leader, Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman Baloch, to help mount a protest for the rights of the citizens of Gwadar, a port city in southwestern Pakistan. Within weeks, Masi Zainab was marching with thousands of
On 16 September, China officially applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) comprising Australia and 10 other members. The free-trade pact is the most extensive in the region, and accounts for almost 14 per cent of global GDP. Before pulling
Export control policy in the semiconductor sector – an industry that supplies the world’s computer, smartphone, appliances and medical equipment industry with electronic chips – was at the forefront of Donald Trump’s tech war against China. The addition of China’s top chipmakers, such as
China’s yearly National People’s Congress (NPC), which convened last week in Beijing, generated more attention than usual. Most of the headlines focused on the confab’s decisions to impose additional electoral restrictions in Hong Kong, a predictable but nonetheless dismal further
Against the fear and distrust that increasingly characterise Australia’s relationship with China, the Belt and Road Initiative looms large. Australian politicians from both major parties rarely agree on much openly, but nearly all agree that China uses the BRI to achieve geopolitical goals. Many
At a time when stability and predictability are needed most, the body at the heart of the rules-based trading system — the World Trade Organization — is reeling from far more than just a paralysed Appellate Body and antagonistic Trump administration
As China recovers from the Covid-19 crisis, the apparatus of the state is about to be devoted to a new form of social control. By the end of 2020, China plans to introduce its national social credit system. For some, this evokes dystopian visions of a surveillance state, monitoring more than a
The conviction that the interests of the US and China are fundamentally incompatible is gathering weight in Washington, as a consensus for confrontation with Beijing takes hold. Having progressively raised tariffs against Chinese-made goods, and adopted reports declaring that China’s “economic
More than half of the cobalt that goes into phone batteries and electric vehicles worldwide – 66,000 of 123,000 tons produced in 2016 – is sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Global demand is expanding rapidly. But lawmakers in Kinshasa have decided to cash in, targeting Western
With the North Korean nuclear threat seemingly sidelined until after the Winter Olympics at least, this geopolitical year is starting in a curiously similar way to last.
US President Donald Trump will share more than a dubious hairdo with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week when he
This post is based on Episode 16 of The Little Red Podcast, featuring Kate Barclay and Michael Fabinyi of the University of Technology, Sydney.
My first culinary meeting with a sea cucumber - bêche-de-mer or BDM in its processed form - came out of curiosity. After nearly two decades travelling
The 19th issue of the G20 Monitor focuses on the state of the G20 in the initial months of the Chinese G20 Presidency and examines policies that could contribute to the G20’s core goal of improving global economic growth.
Photo: Getty Images/ChinaFotoPress