Monday 09 Dec 2019 | 03:34 | SYDNEY
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China naval exercise stokes Japan's fears

So China is accusing Japan of ‘dangerous provocation’ over its alleged monitoring of Chinese naval exercises in the Western Pacific.  Amid the prolonged tensions between the two North Asian powers, this is a new twist. In the past, it has typically been Japan accusing China of perilous

NZ-US: Allies in all but name

Jack Georgieff is a research associate with the International Security program at the Lowy Institute. This week US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and New Zealand Minister of Defence Jonathan Coleman officially marked the resumption of full military ties between the two countries for the first

Reader riposte: Indonesia's reaction to spying claims

Neil Watson responds to Sam Roggeveen's question: why is the Indonesian government making its displeasure over spying allegations so public? Re Indonesia and the spying, I would definitely lean towards firmness to impress the domestic audience. We can expect more of this in the run up to next year

Double trouble on the Mekong

Visiting Cambodia, Laos and Thailand over the past three weeks leaves me in no doubt that issues associated with the Mekong continue to be a subject of sharp controversy, both as a result of the Lao Government’s decision to build a dam at Don Sahong and the Cambodian Government’s decision to

Spy claims: Indonesia takes it up a notch, but why?

So Australian Ambassador Greg Moriarty is being 'invited' to pay a visit to Indonesia's foreign ministry to offer an explanation for this Sydney Morning Herald report claiming that 'Australian embassies are being secretly used to intercept phone calls and data across Asia as part of a US-led global

Syria: Vote 1 Bashar

Despite everyone telling him that he's got to go, Syria's President Bashar Assad has been steadfast in his refusal to do so, claiming that the only ones who can tell him it's time to leave are the Syrian people. They will get their chance in the presidential elections slated for mid-2014, which he

Aung San Suu Kyi's risky strategy

Andrew Selth is a Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. Aung San Suu Kyi is in Europe, where she recently collected the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought awarded to her by the European Parliament in 1990, shortly after she was placed under house arrest by Burma’s military

Reader riposte: India's resource scarcity

Wilson Chau, a former Lowy Institute intern, writes: Really interesting email exchange with the co-authors of In Line Behind a Billion People. It is a book that I must read. If scarcity will feature prominently in China's future, then surely scarcity will be an even greater dilemma for India.

How scarcity will define China's next decade

James Fallows calls it 'the never-ending big question about China': where is this high-speed juggernaut headed? In Line Behind a Billion People is a new book that attempts an answer, and the book's tagline (How Scarcity will Define China's Ascent in the Next Decade) gives you a hint at the

1945: The roots of Japanese pacifism

Ian Buruma is the author of Year Zero: A History of 1945, which is getting strong reviews. Here's a long interview with the author, of which a few choice extracts below: In Japan there were no Nazis and no Hitler. The same old elite before the war were running things during the war, so the

Loaded language on Israel-Palestine

Marty Harris is an assistant digital editor at the Lowy Institute. The International Press Institute has just released a guide for journalists on 'loaded language in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict'.  Journalists in the region may be particularly invested in the conflict, because they live

Indo-Pacific security links

'Indo-Pacific' is an increasingly recognised term in the analysis of Asian strategic issues. Of course, there’s debate about what it means and the extent to which such a super-sized region can be a meaningful frame of reference for policymaking. And its subregions of North Asia, South Asia and

A maritime school of strategic thought for Australia

In hindsight, 2012-13 might come to be seen as a watershed period for maritime strategic thinking in Australian defence policy. During the 37 years that Australian governments have produced defence white papers, the notion of maritime strategy has been applied in only half of these documents,

A lifetime observing India

Danielle Rajendram is a Lowy Institute research associate. Her work focuses on Indian foreign and domestic policy, India-China relations and Asian security. Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Ric Smith spoke last week at the Australia India Institute on his 50-year relationship with India.

'Don't annoy the dragon' is not a foreign policy

My thanks Rob Ayson for responding promptly to my post on Japan and Japan-China relations. Rob says my post reaffirmed his worries about Australia’s management of the relationships with Japan and China. But in turn, Rob’s piece reaffirmed the worries I expressed about his original post. I

China-India: Dr Singh goes to Beijing

Shashank Joshi is a doctoral student at Harvard University's Department of Government and a Research Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, London. He tweets here. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is on a four-day tour to Russia and China, and he arrives in Beijing today. What's on

China's aid program: Why the numbers matter

Dr Philippa Brant is a Lowy Institute Research Associate. China’s aid policy, like almost everything China does on the world stage, attracts close scrutiny and often criticism. The forthcoming release of China’s second White Paper on Foreign Aid (likely within the next month) will

Reader riposte: Human trafficking in Vietnam

Meke Kamps, previously the Manager of Blue Dragon Children's Foundation (2009-11) and now a Blue Dragon board member, writes: I am contacting you after reading your article on The Interpreter by Marty Harris on human trafficking victims in the Greater Mekong region. I have a particular interest in

Israel has no need to worry about Obama

Dougal Robinson is a Lowy Institute Project Research Assistant. The US and Iran held a one-hour bilateral meeting in Geneva on Tuesday as part of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, but two-thirds of Jewish Israelis believe President Barack Obama will fail to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Japan-China: Why Australia should embrace ambiguity

Robert Ayson is a Visiting Fellow with the ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, on research leave from the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Malcolm Cook has offered thoughtful criticism of my argument that the Abbott Government went too far in a statement

Undercurrents of Sino-Japanese discord

Rikki Kersten is Professor of Modern Japanese Political History in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. Malcolm Cook is right – the Japanese are indeed worried about the China threat. But we need to delve a little deeper to make sense of it. Politically, magnifying the China threat has

US Jews support two-state solution; split on settlements

Marty Harris is an assistant digital editor at the Lowy Institute. Pew Research has released a major public opinion report on the attitudes of America's more than 5 million Jewish citizens. Much of the media reporting has focused on a supposed 'identity shift' among Jewish Americans, but the

Yes, Japan is alarmed by China's rise

Having been to Tokyo twice in the last two weeks* for interviews and workshops on Japan-China-Korea relations and Japan-Australia relations, my answer to Sam’s query (Is Japan Alarmed by China's Rise?) is YES. Japan is alarmed, and so it should be. Any country facing a neighbour that has a

Is Japan alarmed by China's rise?

The FT's Gideon Rachman on Japan's security fears (emphasis mine):  Abe’s radicalism is not driven solely by domestic economics. Japan has also been jolted into action by the perception of a growing threat from China. The Chinese economy surpassed Japan’s in size in 2011; the gap is

Movie trailer: A Touch of Sin

I'm late to A Touch of Sin, as it has already screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival, but on the strength of this trailer and some of the reviews, I'll be looking out for it on disc. A Touch of Sin tells four stories of a rapidly modernising China and examines corruption,

Rubbery figures: Chinese military R&D

Dennis Blasko is a Senior Research Scientist in China Studies for CNA Analysis & Solutions. Senior Research Scientist, China Studies Senior Research Scientist, China Studies For most of the past decade, organisations and individuals estimating China's 'actual' or 'true' defence-related spending

Cambodian election aftermath: Quiet flows the Mekong

Contrary to some media reports and photographs of razor wire in the streets, Phnom Penh has appeared calm over the past four days I have been here. Yesterday morning there was a demonstration near the Phnom (see photo above), the city's most recognisable landmark, but it was to do with land issues,

Focus on the Palestinian economy

Marty Harris is an assistant digital editor at the Lowy Institute. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Middle East and Central Asian Studies from ANU. Two reports on the Palestinian economy were released recently. Late last month the Office of the Middle East Quartet released a summary of the '

Talking to Iran is good, right?

It is right to be cautious about Iran's post-Ahmadinejad willingness to negotiate on the nuclear issue. And while a combination of the sanctions regime and the election of Hassan Rouhani as president has enabled negotiations to occur, the West should be alert to where Iran sees itself positioned

China's really big military R&D effort

The scale of China's military research and development effort has been underestimated in the open source literature, perhaps by as much as 50%, says Associate Professor Tai Ming Cheung, director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California. It's difficult to

Progress and the Party: Social(ist) tensions in Vietnam

Elliot Brennan is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Security and Development Policy (Sweden) and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Pacific Forum-Center for Strategic and International Studies (US).   Late last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh