AUKUS

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.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong with the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives at the ASEAN Secretariat, 6 June 2022. (Twitter/@SenatorWong)

'Hard yakka' ahead for Australia and ASEAN relations

Australia has made significant inroads in its engagement with ASEAN. But Canberra’s relationship with the grouping will be a hard slog, given their differences in approaching China and ensuring that China-US rivalry does not derail regional aspirations. In the meantime, Australia remains involved with the US in groupings including AUKUS and the Quad, maintaining relations with Japan and India.
A screen shows a CCTV state media news broadcast of Chinese President Xi Jinping, addressing the BRICS Business Forum via video link, at a shopping center in Beijing, China, 23 June 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Can the BRICS reinvent itself?

In an age where any global economic agenda is hardly viewed outside the prism of geopolitics, it would take enormous resolve for BRICS to make an impactful comeback on the global stage, says ISAS academic Amitendu Palit.
US President Joe Biden gestures during the commencement ceremony at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, US, 28 May 2022. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Biden has good strategies, but can he implement them?

Chinese academic Zhang Jingwei notes that while US President Joe Biden has cast a wider net in building alliances compared with his predecessors, much of these frameworks are lacking in substance. Will the US be able to benefit from them and use them against its strategic rival China?
China's State Councilor and Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe walks to attend a bilateral meeting with U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, 10 June 2022. (Caroline Chia/Reuters)

Framing China’s actions: From ‘assertive’ to ‘aggressive’

US-led Western rhetoric has not been friendly to China, with “assertive” being the operative word. However, at the recent Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, that term was “upgraded” to “aggressive”, prompting a strong response from China. Is this portrayal deserved and are tensions likely to persist in the region? What should the ASEAN countries’ response be?
People cycle on a road at the central business district in Beijing, China, 16 May 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Xi’s Global Security Initiative: In pursuit of China’s own interests and ambitions

Indian academic Amrita Jash believes that China’s proposal of the Global Security Initiative was made primarily out of its own interests and the world is left no more convinced that it can be a responsible stakeholder in the international system.