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Australian Institute of International Affairs: For those with an interest in the Indo-Pacific, the political uncertainty and tension surrounding Taiwan – officially the Republic of China – is cause for constant debate. While Cross-Strait relations and the competing narratives between the mainland China and Taiwan continue to burgeon, analysts and observers describe the issues surrounding Taiwan, chiefly its political independence and national security as becoming increasingly “hotter”.
Alan Dupont participated in Session 1: Regional Perspectives on Indo-Pacific Strategic Objectives
There is an emerging consensus among US allies and partners that a free, open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific is in the interests of all nations and must be preserved. Beyond this broad vision for regional order, however, are a wide range of differences in national priorities, proximate interests, views about rules, norms and values, and geographic considerations. How do key regional countries define Indo-Pacific strategy and its objectives? Read more
There are growing signs that Islamic State cells are preparing for violent insurgencies in southern Philippines to build a prized so-called caliphate on Australia’s backdoor.
The establishment of an entrenched caliphate in the Philippines, at worst, brings the risk of suicide bombers and chemical weapons attacks in Australian cities, a leading Australian expert has warned. Read more
Quote: “Dr Dupont, chief executive of strategic risk consultancy The Cognoscenti Group, said the scale of the Marawi uprising, which has seen almost 100 troops, 50 civilians and 400 terrorists killed showed it was significantly planned and financed. He said whether it would be enough to inspire other uprisings was still unknown but a groundswell of Islamic conservatism made for fertile ground for fundamentalist teachings and ultimately extremism.”
With exquisite political timing, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un effectively gatecrashed this week’s G20 summit and US Independence Day celebrations by test-firing his country’s first genuinely intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.
We have become so used to Kim’s provocative missile diplomacy and the impotency of the international response it’s easy to dismiss this latest missile test as likely to elicit nothing more than the customary ineffectual hand-wringing.
But this time it’s different.
“It’s pretty clear they’re trying to emulate what ISIS has done in the Middle East,” said Alan Dupont, a strategic analyst at the Lowy Institute, a foreign-policy think tank in Sydney. “Marawi would be a magnet for disaffected people in Southeast Asia, including in Australia.” Australia has more at stake in the Philippines conflict than the U.S., Dr. Dupont added, because it is much closer.
The assassination of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of the unhinged North Korean despot Kim Jong-un, adds a dangerous dimension to deepening concerns about a seriously deranged regime in Pyongyang that is increasingly fanatical, fragile and has nuclear weapons. Read more
Professor Aaron Friedberg of Princeton University, spoke at The Institute of World Politics on the growing great-power rivalry in the Pacific.
Dr Jonathan Spyer discusses Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. Read more