A new vision for China–Australia relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott walk together as they leave the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, 17 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Stuart Harris, ANU

Australia’s foreign policy has been a mix of positives and negatives under the Liberal-National Coalition government, as was true of the previous Labor government. Former prime ministers Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke recognised the need for Australia to think strategically about future regional developments, and John Howard’s thinking gradually moved in that direction. Read more…

Domestic controversy plagues Jokowi

Author: Marshall Clark and Yasmi Adriansyah, ANU

Indonesian President, Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) decision to embark on his first official overseas visit has been overshadowed by domestic controversy. The planned meet-and-greet with the leaders of Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines seemed to be a way of escaping the domestic tensions between two of the country’s key law-enforcement institutions: Read more…

China and Myanmar: When neighbours become good friends

A vendor weights corn for a customer at a market in Yingjiang, near Myanmar border, Yunnan Province, China. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Dai Yonghong, Sichuan University

China wants to keep its good relationship with Myanmar. But, because the major powers are also taking interest, China must work to make a strong relationship even stronger. Read more…

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…