Tag Archives: China

The China-India face-off in Bhutan

In a world that seems to be more rather than less prone to confrontation, China and India are now squaring off against each other on a remote plateau in a corner of the almost as remote country of Bhutan. Bhutan, an ally of India, is wedged between the two Asian powers, with China claiming a […]

Autonomy in Hong Kong may mean less in practice than in theory

Hong Kong’s ‘one country, two systems’ is sometimes referred to as constituting Hong Kong’s autonomy from China. This is, in principle, confirmed under Hong Kong’s 1997 Basic Law. However, autonomy arrangements can reflect less, and rarely more, than their legal framework implies. Issues in determining the functional status of autonomy arrangements include the terms of […]

A way forward with North Korea … if the US wants it

The bellicose rhetoric emanating from North Korea recently would have outsiders believe the world is but a step or two away from a military show-down, including the possibility of nuclear war. The threat from North Korea is a serious one if perhaps, for the moment, overstated. North Korea is long on confrontational commentary but, at […]

The Dalai Lama provokes an assertive China

China’s regional assertiveness has entered a new phase with the Dalai Lama provoking China in its long disputed border region with India. China has warned India ‘not to complicate issues’ by allowing the Dalai Lama to use a visit to a border area to promote Tibetan separatism. Tibet has long been a sensitive issue for […]

The ties that bind are also the ties that blind

The two trips by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to Indonesia have started to give a distinctive shape to a shift in Australian foreign policy. In keeping with Abbott’s assertive political style, Australia is on the diplomatic front foot, promoting his pro-Asia policy agenda. But the forcefulness of the way in which this agenda is being […]

Why is China interested in helping war-torn Mali?

In a move that has raised as many questions about its wider intent, China has announced it will send between 500 and 600 troops to Mali under a post-French UN peacekeeping mission. While the move is being welcomed in Mali as an international contribution to helping control Islamist fighters holed up in the exposed mountains […]

Australia's strategic reorientation

Australia enters 2013 reconsidering its place in a strategically shifting world. Issues close to home have stabilised and, increasingly, considerations further from Australia are being written off as a lost cause. Australia’s peace-keeping commitment to East Timor has ended, with that country now charting an independent and, for the medium future at least, stable course. […]

Japan’s elections signal disillusionment, change.

The crushing victory by Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party in the weekend’s elections has signalled that Japanese voters are worried, disillusioned and impatient for change. With Japan’s economy still in the doldrums, China’s influence growing and the country still reeling from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, many Japanese want a return to when the country was an […]

China’s divisive role in the East Asia Forum

The recently concluded East Asia Forum (EAF) has highlighted the contentious role of a growing China in regional affairs. For an event that was intended primarily to lay the foundation for a huge Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the EAF has been at least as notable for a profound, perhaps fatal, rift in the Association of […]