Australian independence at the Ausmin talks: Thatcherism and Reagonomics

July 30, 2020

This week Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Foreign Minister Marise Payne flew to Washington to attend the annual Ausmin talks. The backdrop to this year’s talks is a series of escalating events and rhetoric on Hong Kong’s new national security laws, ownership of the South China Sea, cyber-attacks and theft, and the closure of consulates in the US and China. But the deeper issue on the agenda was a choice. The US was hoping Australia would throw everything in with the US – and officially cast China as a strategic rival.
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Trump wants an ‘alliance of democracies’ to oppose China

July 24, 2020

“The difference between this cold war and the last one is the alignment and bifurcation are a lot more fluid,” said Alan Dupont, a leading Australian security strategist. “It’s a far more interdependent world now, and a lot of countries will not be in a single bloc. They’ll want to straddle both.”
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Managing the New Cold War: National Press Foundation Briefing, 23 July 2020

July 17, 2020

The U.S.-China trade war is expanding into an undeclared Cold War over trade, technology, and geopolitical influence. From rising tensions over Huawei, Hong Kong, and the treatment of the Uighurs to Chinese fighter jets buzzing Taiwan, the risks of escalation are rising. How can this increasingly bitter conflict be managed? And how can journalists cover the deteriorating U.S.-China relationship objectively during an intensely partisan election campaign season? The program is sponsored by the Hinrich Foundation, an Asia-based philanthropic organization that works to advance mutually beneficial and sustainable global trade. NPF retains sole responsibility for programming and content of the briefings.
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Dupont: Australia Needs To Decouple From China As “Second Cold War” Looms

July 17, 2020

Full article at ZeroHedge (link)

…Dupont called on Australia to examine vulnerabilities in its supply chains, saying: “In my view, our dependence on China for a range of critical technologies and goods has become a major security liability and must be reversed.”

Since April, Australia has been locked into a Beijing-instigated trade dispute, which has seen the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) impose 80 percent tariffs on Australian barley imports, ban beef imports from four abattoirs, and advise local Chinese power plants not to buy Australian coal.

Australian politicians have also called for greater decoupling and less reliance on the China market.
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Australia sees ‘partial economic decoupling’ from China as Canberra weighs risks of over reliance

July 4, 2020

Full article in South China Moring Post (link)

“For Australia, a key takeaway is that although we may hope for reconciliation [with China], the odds favour a partial separation,” according to a submission by Alan Dupont, chief executive of geopolitical risk consultancy, The Cognoscenti Group.

Dupont said Australia’s decoupling from China “is not an attempt to isolate China … but rather to establish a sustainable relationship” between China and the United States as the world is dividing into two competing trading and geopolitical blocs.
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Canberra vs Beijing: A response to Sam Roggeveen

June 19, 2020

Contrarian views are needed to assess the China risk. And we shouldn’t assume this century will be indisputably China’s. ~ Alan Dupont


Sam Roggeveen is absolutely right. Australia’s China debate has been dramatically transformed over the past few years. Like him, I welcome a robust discussion about our relationship with Asia’s emerging power and our major trading partner. It’s a pity China’s citizens can’t have one about us, too. Read more

China’s rise not as certain as they’d have us believe

June 16, 2020

Beijing’s vindictive punishment of our universities, tourist sector, farmers, coal exporters and Karm Gilespie has shattered two widely held assumptions about China’s rise: that it will continue inexorably and is overwhelmingly to our benefit.

Legions of operators in the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department have skilfully spun the narrative that the country’s return to greatness is preordained. Best to get on the train before it leaves the station. We did in our thousands, crowding on to gleaming new locomotives to discover the mysteries and beauty of China, while trade boomed and the education and tourist sectors profited from an influx of Chinese students and free-spending tourists. Read more

China’s bid to control the internet

May 16, 2020

Experts say China’s New IP ‘should frighten us all’. And then there’s the undersea cable wars…

Imagine trying to manage the impact of the coronavirus without the internet and a robust telecommunications sector. If we couldn’t communicate and transact in real time, economic activity would grind to a halt and social contact would be even more difficult. And there would be no COVIDSafe app, an important tool in the government’s recovery strategy.

Australia is already more wired than most nations, and the digital world is expanding rapidly as the coronavirus has forced business, schools, universities and government services online. Videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom are booming and the much maligned National Broadband Network finally is starting to realise its potential. But if these networks were to become untrustworthy or disrupted for any length of time it would be hard for the country to function effectively.
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Coronavirus: Golden opportunity to broaden and strengthen our national security

April 13, 2020

The biggest international crisis since World War II is increasing pressure for a rethink of national security policy that redefines ­sovereign risk and elevates the ­importance of non-military challenges. Despite its terrible toll, the pandemic provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unite the country around a security agenda that will reshape how we live in a post-COVID-19 world.
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