Australia

US President Joe Biden during a news conference following the final day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit at the IFEMA congress center in Madrid, Spain, on 30 June 2022. (Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg)

What a ‘resurrected’ NATO means for China and the world

The recent NATO summit in Madrid seems to indicate that NATO is making a comeback in full force. For China, painted as presenting “systemic challenges” to NATO, this should sound a warning that when the time is ripe for the US to contain China, key countries in the Asia-Pacific and the EU will not be on its side.
China's State Councilor and Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe gestures before a plenary session during the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, 12 June 2022. (Caroline Chia/Reuters)

China at the centre of the world’s politics

Former journalist Goh Choon Kang observes that whether it is the discussions at the recently concluded Shangri-La Dialogue or the larger machinations of geopolitics, it cannot be denied that having China in the picture changes many things, and perhaps even provides countries with more strategic options.
Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida welcomes US President Joe Biden at the entrance hall of the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan in Tokyo, Japan, 24 May 2022. (Zhang Xiaoyu/Pool via Reuters)

Biden’s Asia tour: US deepening its commitments to counter China

US President Joe Biden's recent visit to Asia was made with China in mind, as he met with Quad partners South Korea, Japan, Australia and India, and launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). At the very least, says Japanese academic Ryo Sahashi, the visit signals that the US is keen on setting the rules in the region and keeping a firm security presence especially vis-à-vis the Taiwan Strait.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, alongside Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, waves as the two board the plane to Japan to attend the Quad leaders meeting in Tokyo, in Canberra, Australia, 23 May 2022. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch via Reuters)

Don’t expect a reset in Australia-China relations anytime soon

While the Scott Morrison government has bowed out to a new team from the Labor Party following the elections, it will be hard to change the downward trajectory of Australia-China relations. This is in large part due to the strength of Australia’s alliance with the US, says Associate Professor Yuan Jingdong of the University of Sydney.
US President Joe Biden and Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hold a bilateral meeting alongside the Quad Summit at Kantei Palace in Tokyo, Japan, 24 May 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Australia's turn towards the US: ASEAN centrality at risk

ASEAN’s goal of remaining at the centre of regionalism in Asia is at risk. Australia is something of a bellwether middle-ranking country in the region. It was an enthusiastic participant in the proliferation of new multilateral mechanisms in the 1990s and 2000s but has clearly changed its priorities, reflecting a preference for more result-oriented mechanisms like the Quad and AUKUS.
A photo taken on 22 April 2022 shows China's ambassador to the Solomon Islands Li Ming (right), and Solomons Prime Pinister Manasseh Sogavare (left) attending the opening ceremony of a China-funded national stadium complex in Honiara, Solomon Islands. (Mavis Podokolo/AFP)

Solomon Islands: Will China pick up the gun to defend its interests in the developing world?

Loro Horta notes that the US, Australia and New Zealand have been overly fixated on China possibly building a military base in the Solomon Islands. If anything, the security pact signals China's greater willingness to be more interventionist in its approach to other countries. If so, this is the true shift in policy that the West should be worried about.
Locals sit on a wall situated on the foreshore of the harbour in the Fiji capital of Suva, 24 August 2014. (Lincoln Feast/File Photo/Reuters)

The South Pacific Ocean: Another battleground for China-US competition?

While the South Pacific is looking to be an emerging arena of greater competition with China on one side and the US and its allies on the other, US-based academic Hong Nong also sees that areas of common interest could still drive cooperation between them, depending on which direction the pendulum swings.
An undated handout photo released on 29 March 2022 by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) shows a China Police Liason Team officer (centre) training local RSIPF officers. (Handout/RSIPF/AFP)

China-Solomon Islands security pact: Alarm bells ringing for Australia and New Zealand?

Dr Anne-Marie Schleich, a former German ambassador to New Zealand, explains why Australia and New Zealand are worried about a new security deal inked between China and Solomon Islands. Have they not been paying enough attention to their own backyard?
An undated handout photo released on 29 March 2022 by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) shows China Police Liason Team officers training local RSIPF officers. (Handout/RSIPF/AFP)

Will China-Solomon Islands security cooperation bring new tensions to the South Pacific?

The new policing and security agreements between China and the Solomon Islands have neighbouring countries such as Australia and New Zealand anxious about the potential militarisation of the region. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong warns that small island nations in the South Pacific must be careful about choosing sides so as not to become pawns in great power competition.