The myth of China’s overseas energy investment

Chinese inspectors patrol past crude oil tanks at the Dagang commercial oil reserve base of CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation), parent company of PetroChina, in Tianjin, China, 5 April 2012. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Zhao Hongtu, CICIR

China’s international energy investments and acquisitions have drawn much interest from foreign observers. Some analysts tend to believe that it represents a national energy procurement strategy driven by the central government. Read more…

Commission impossible for Abe’s foreign policy

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends the Commission on a Framework for the 21st Century in Tokyo on 25 February 2015. The commission will advise the Abe government on its statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Michael Cucek, Temple University Japan

On 25 February, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe convened the first meeting of a new special advisory council, the Commission on a Framework for the 21st Century. The rather ambiguously and grandiosely named council is to meet with him over the coming months, presenting the results of their deliberations on five topics. Read more…

India–US relations face hurdles

US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi interact during the India-US business summit in New Delhi, India, 26 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Biswajit Dhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Economic relations between India and the United States seem to be going well. This was recently reinforced in New Delhi with Prime Minister Modi and President Obama endorsing the India–US Delhi Declaration of Friendship. Read more…

China’s nine-dash line still infringes international law

A Chinese government ship trails a Vietnamese Coast Guard vessel with reporters aboard in the South China Sea on July 15, 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Huy Duong, and Tuan Pham, UNSW

Suggestions that China could claim historic fishing rights within the nine-dash line misinterpret international law. While Sourabh Gupta’s arguments, outlined in a recent Forum article, relating to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Articles 62 and 123 have been disputed elsewhere, we argue that his argument regarding Article 56 is also incorrect. Read more…

Vietnam catches the Korean wave

Members of South Korean K-pop band Tara perform during a concert held at Hanoi's My Dinh stadium on 29 November 2012. Seventeen South Korean pop bands performed at the concert held to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between South Korea and Vietnam. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Pham Quang Minh, VNU, Hanoi

An endless line of water that starts from a shallow stream, grows into a big river, and then flows into the ocean. That’s how Vietnam’s former deputy prime minister, Vu Khoan, described the progress made by Vietnam and South Korea in 2012, as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations. Read more…

Abe’s Middle Eastern ambition

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gestures as he speaks at a press conference in Jerusalem during a recent tour of the Middle East, 20 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Kai Schulze, HUJI

After his victory in the December 2014 elections, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to turn Japan into ‘one of the greatest powers in the world’ by implementing the new foreign policy approach of ‘proactive pacifism’. Abe is seeking to foster Japanese international engagement, which will increasingly reach beyond the regional boundaries of the Asia-Pacific. Read more…

China’s road to growth in Africa

Zhang Ming, China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs takes part in a signing ceremony with Chair of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma after signing an agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Lauren Johnston, University of Melbourne

China, like much of the developed world, faces slower growth and an ageing population. Africa in contrast offers the potential of ‘catch up’ growth and a growing young pool of low-cost labour, alongside plentiful natural resources. The economic prospects of both are increasingly intertwined. Read more…