Saturday 18 Jan 2020 | 20:50 | SYDNEY
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Australia and the Burma/Myanmar name debate

Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to Australia this week will throw into sharp relief several aspects of Australia's relationship with Burma. One will be the name by which her country is known. Ever since 1989, when Burma's military government changed the English name of the country to Myanmar, there have

Kurt Campbell's 2013 Owen Harries Lecture

Last Thursday's inaugural Owen Harries Lecture by former US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell will live long in the memory of the packed audience at the Lowy Institute, and not just for the Madeline Albright-Alexander Downer anecdote which closed the event. Yes, diplomacy can be funny, but

China's ideological deficit

This is the third part of my interview with Damien Ma and William Adams, co-authors of In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity will Define China's Ascent in the Next Decade. Part 1 looked at the main theme of their book, scarcity in China, and in part 2 I questioned Ma and Adams on whether

China-Taiwan diplomatic rivalry gives way to new maturity

Philippa Brant is a Lowy Institute Research Associate. Gambia recently announced it had terminated diplomatic ties with Taiwan after eighteen years. This marks the first diplomatic ally Taiwan has lost since Malawi in December 2007, and leaves Taipei with only 22 states with which it has an

Time for Iran to reach out to Israel

Christopher Johnston is a fellow at Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon. Officials are hailing an interim agreement to halt or reverse key aspects of the Iranian nuclear program. Negotiations have concluded with

*SBY*, the tweeting president

The second round of the Australia-Indonesia spying stoush has now rolled on for a week, and attention is turning to the longer term implications for the relationship. As I've written elsewhere, I feel the row exposed Prime Minister Abbott's failure to take sufficient heed of Indonesia's domestic

Why Indonesia is angry, and what to do about it

Greta Nabbs-Keller is a Brisbane-based consultant who has recently submitted a PhD examining the impact of democratisation on Indonesia's foreign policy. To construe Indonesia's response to the Snowden intelligence leaks purely in terms of 'chest-thumping' or as an appeal to domestic political

The boats and the dreams of those aboard

Remember those two journalists found on-board an asylum-seeker boat off Christmas Island in September? If you want to know what they were doing there and what they saw and heard, read the phenomenal piece of journalism they produced, published last weekend in the NY Times Magazine. The writing by

What Q&A India tells us about Australia-India relations

Danielle Rajendram is a Lowy Institute research associate. Her work focuses on Indian foreign and domestic policy, India-China relations and Asian security. In case you missed it, this week’s episode of ABC’s Q&A was broadcast live from the Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon, India.  The

Will Asia's rapid growth continue?

Convergence – the catch-up process whereby poor economies grow substantially faster than the mature economies – may be the most important economic story in the past fifty years. It is transforming the world, shifting hundreds of millions out of abject poverty while simultaneously shifting the

Diplomatic fallout from the latest Snowden revelations

The Guardian and the ABC have released information from Edward Snowden alleging that the Australian Defence Signals Directorate (DSD, now the Australian Signals Directorate) targeted the mobile phones of a number of senior Indonesian officials — including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono — 

Is Australia defendable?

James Goldrick has raised two very important issues in his latest contribution to our conversation about maritime strategy for Australia*. The first concerns the circumstances under which serious threats to Australia’s trade routes might occur. I had earlier argued that serious powers were most

Secrecy, intellectual property and the TPP

WikiLeaks has turned its attention to the Trans Pacific Partnership. The press, in Australia and overseas, has noticed.  The Interpreter has previously drawn attention to the complex issues (some would say the downside concerns) of the Trans Pacific Partnership. The negotiations can be seen as

Maritime strategy: Don't forget about supply

Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AO, CSC is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of NSW in Canberra (ADFA). Hugh White has responded to my critique of his views on maritime warfare and the

China in motion

Yes, time-lapse videos of exotic locales have become something of an online cliche, but that doesn't mean we can't acknowledge the good ones. This one was created from the work of 56 photographers in 49 Chinese cities. (H/t The Atlantic

An Indian perspective on Australian maritime strategy

Abhijit Singh is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi. This post is part of a series arranged in conjunction with the Sea Power Centre. The Sea Power Centre’s new book A maritime school of Strategic thought for Australia - Perspectives brings

Typhoon Haiyan and the geopolitics of disaster relief

Amid the horrific human tragedy, it may feel heartless to speculate about the strategic consequences of the typhoon that has taken more than 10,000 lives in the Philippines. But you can be sure such thinking will be well underway within governments all around Asia and the wider Indo-Pacific, even

Bombings in Burma: The long view

Andrew Selth is a Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute and author of Burma and International Terrorism. The recent spate of terrorist bombings in Burma has not injured many people or caused much property damage, but it is a reminder of the country’s multi-faceted internal security

Documentary trailer: Tales from the Organ Trade

From the synopsis on the official website: TALES FROM THE ORGAN TRADE is a gritty and unflinching descent into the shadowy world of black-market organ trafficking: the street-level brokers, the rogue surgeons, the impoverished men and women who are willing to sacrifice a slice of their own

2014 a key year for Indonesia and the region

Peter McCawley is a Visiting Fellow in the Indonesia Project, Australian National University, and former Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo. Amid the current ups and downs of the Indonesia-Australia relationship we need to remember that while Australia has just had an election,

New Zealand, China and the new world order

Dr Andrew Butcher is Director of Research at the Asia New Zealand Foundation. 'New Zealand’s future is Asian, above all Chinese' wrote Martin Jacques during his recent visit to New Zealand. Buttressing his case were what he saw as unique New Zealand attributes: its significant Maori and

How far East Asia has come, in one graph

Marty Harris is an assistant digital editor at the Lowy Institute. The following graph is from the UN's 2013 Millennium Development Goals Report:  Little comment is needed on this, except to say that despite rising income and urban-rural inequality in China, the number of people living in

Third plenary: Xi Jinping's big moment

Dirk van der Kley is a Research Associate in the Lowy Institute's East Asia Program. This weekend the Communist Party of China (CPC) will begin the third plenary session of its Central Committee, the 200 or so highest-ranked party members in China. This includes the Politburo (25 top-ranking

Reader riposte: Indonesia 2014 and spy claims

Ian Brownlie writes: A couple of comments on Stephen Grenville's post this morning on Jokowi and Indonesia's 2014 elections: Jokowi is not formally a member of Megawati's PDI-P but is closely affiliated to it and has been wooing her, apparently to some effect, even before he became governor of

Indonesia 2014: Jokowi or bust

You can't read a paper or watch TV in Indonesia without coming to the conclusion that Joko Widodo ('Jokowi'), the mayor of Jakarta, is a shoe-in for the 2014 Indonesian presidential election. Not only is he the front runner in most polls, he is ubiquitous, getting footpaths fixed, sorting out

Are China's leaders still capable of big reforms?

This is the second part of my interview with Damien Ma and William Adams, co-authors of In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity will Define China's Ascent in the Next Decade. In part 1 I asked Ma and Adams about the theme of their book, scarcity, and why we ought to worry about it when so many

Documentary trailer: The Square

This new documentary about the Eyptian uprising is getting plaudits from reviewers and attracting Oscar buzz. The Daily Beast calls The Square 'the definitive on-the-ground history of the popular uprising that is still remaking and redefining modern Egypt': ...American-born, Egyptian-bred

Asian crisis and GFC compared: All the wrong lessons

  Do we learn from economic crises? The 2008-10 crises in America and Europe and the Asian crisis a decade earlier present a rich source of contrasting experience to examine. What a divergence there is between the 2008-10 policy responses and 1997-8! In 1997 IMF funding, even supplemented by

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