Will Australia’s election make any difference to its foreign policy?

Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on 2 May 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

The traditional conception of foreign policy choice is that it is embedded in the DNA of nation states, where they sit in the international community and how they calculate their interests in international affairs. Read more…

Modi puts in the groundwork with Iran

In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, speaks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Monday, 23 May 23 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sumit Kumar, Pondicherry University

India’s West Asian diplomacy has undergone a remarkable shift, with Iran becoming a major foreign policy priority for the Modi government. Modi’s recent visit to Iran on 22–23 May resulted in the signing of 12 agreements in areas ranging from trade and commerce to security and counterterrorism, emphasising this progress.

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Australia–Singapore defence deal is smart, but not risk-free

Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes perform aerobatic displays during a preview ahead of the Singapore Airshow in Singapore, 18 February 2008. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Michael Barr, Flinders University

Let there be no doubt about who is the main winner from the Australia–Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) signed on 6 May. It is Singapore. This tiny country is a quarter the size of the Australian city of Melbourne by land mass and it lacks space more than anything else. Read more…

Japan–Russia relations need more than just energy

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Sochi, Russia. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Anthony V. Rinna, Sino-NK

On 16 May 2016 Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern district, Yury Trutnev, met with officials from Japanese and Russian energy and metallurgical companies. The meeting followed a summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss enhancing bilateral ties.

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What happened to Russia’s ‘pivot to Asia’?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi attend a joint press conference at the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, China on 29 April 2016.

Authors: Dmitry Filippov, University of Sheffield and Peter Marino

In early 2014, Russia faced economic sanctions in response to its annexation of Crimea. Many in the country viewed the sanctions as proof that the West has contempt for Russia’s ‘sphere of influence’ in Ukraine and was trying to subvert Russian foreign policy. Responding to this pressure from the West, Moscow turned its attention to the East — specifically, to China.

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Could domestic politics shake the US–Japan alliance?

US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Nuclear Security Summit. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Pandu Utama Manggala, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

Signed in 1951, the US–Japan Security Treaty and the alliance it established have endured for over six decades and continue to play an instrumental role in shaping the regional security order. But with Republican presidential nominee frontrunner Donald Trump’s ‘America first’ isolationist foreign policy views gaining traction in the United States, concerns are mounting over the future of the alliance.

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India–Bangladesh economic ties gain momentum

Two Indians drive a three-wheeler loaded of tree branches, outskirts of New Delhi, India. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Tridivesh Singh Maini, JSIA

While attention has focused on India’s strained ties with its neighbours, some notable strides have been made in the bilateral relationship with Bangladesh. Progress on the political front has captured the spotlight, with the recent Land Boundary Agreement. But both sides have also made significant progress in developing their economic ties and connectivity.

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