AUKUS

This handout photograph taken on 11 October 2023 and released by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade shows Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong (left) and Australian journalist Cheng Lei upon her arrival at the airport in Melbourne, Australia. (Sarah Hodges/Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)/AFP)

China-Australia relations warm up again, but will it last?

The recent release of Chinese Australian news anchor Cheng Lei and the lifting of tariffs on key Australian exports into China are signalling a detente in China-Australia relations. But given the impact of external geopolitical issues and China-US relations on China-Australia bilateral relations, will the warming relations and resumption of exchanges and trade stay the course? Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk looks into the issue.
People walk past a neighbourhood decorated with Singapore flags in Singapore. (SPH Media)

Chan Heng Chee: Small state in a turbulent world

Chan Heng Chee, ambassador-at-large and professor at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, Singapore University of Technology and Design, delivered a speech at the Reinventing Destiny conference on 14 August, held in commemoration of the 100th birth year anniversary of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding prime minister. She spoke about how strengthening Singapore as a nation and being part of an inclusive regional grouping like ASEAN could help the city state better survive these divisive and conflictual times. Here is the edited transcript of her speech.
People walk past the central business district, in Beijing, China, on 21 June 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China’s application to join CPTPP comes to the fore, after the UK’s entry

​With the UK’s addition to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the question of the next applicant, China, joining comes front and centre. Other applicants like Taiwan, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Uruguay are also keen to be part of a grouping that could become the largest free trade area in the world. Academic Min-Hua Chiang outlines the stakes involved.
Ukrainian artillerymen prepare a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher to fire towards Russian positions on the frontline, in Donetsk region on 17 April 2023. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP)

Arms dealers cannot be peacemakers: Europe is a lesson for Asia

Even as Asia-Pacific countries want to focus on trade and economic cooperation, geopolitical tussling — especially between the US and China — has got in the way of such efforts. Former journalist and MP Goh Choon Kang says that at a time when arms dealers have apparently become peacemakers, countries of this region must stay focused and not be sidetracked and dictated by the powers.
US President Joe Biden (centre), British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (right) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (left) hold a press conference during the AUKUS summit on 13 March 2023, at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego California. (Jim Watson/AFP)

If at first you don’t succeed: Australia woos the Indo-Pacific on AUKUS

Australia made extensive diplomatic overtures to Asia prior to its March update about the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine arrangement with the UK and the US, note researchers Blake Herzinger and Alice Nason. Canberra appears to have gained some traction in the region, but it should not rest on its laurels.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport ahead of G20 Summit, Bali, Indonesia, 14 November 2022. (Fikri Yusuf/G20 Media Center/Handout via Reuters)

Australia far more wary of China than SEA nations despite thawing relations

Susannah Patton, director of the Southeast Asia Program at Lowy Institute, reflects on the thaw in Australia-China relations, surmising that the resumption of dialogue may mean Australia is no longer a regional outlier. But unchanging imperatives may see Australia’s continued investment in capabilities for the regional deterrence of China, which may worry some in Southeast Asia.
Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese walk together to their one-on-one meeting at Fraser's Restaurant on 22 October 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Stefan Gosatti/Pool via Reuters)

Japan-Australia relations moves up a notch with China in mind

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima assesses the joint statement and joint declaration issued by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently, observing a strengthening of relations amid common interests.
A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking during his first Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons in London on 26 October 2022. (Jessica Taylor/AFP)

The UK's 'tilt' towards the Indo-Pacific may not be sustainable

The UK has launched a robust “tilt” towards the Indo-Pacific. To its credit, it has executed a series of high-profile diplomatic engagements and military deployments to the region. The question, however, is not about London’s desire to engage with the dynamic region but whether this tilt can be sustained.
People ride on scooters across a street during morning rush hour, in Beijing, China, 2 August 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

[State of our world] The world will be very different from the one we're used to

In a changed world post-pandemic and against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, Asia will face pressure from competing minilateral coalitions amid the breakdown of multilateralism and the weakening global and regional institutions. This time, it may not be so easy not to take sides, says Professor C. Raja Mohan. This is the second in a series of four articles contemplating a changing world order.