Only a resilient democracy could have survived the mob violence

January 11, 2021

Does Donald Trump’s act of constitutional vandalism in inciting mob violence presage an end to America’s greatness or the rebirth of a country that has lost its way? After last week’s unprecedented scenes of mayhem and wanton destruction in Washington’s Capitol building, the notion of a rebirth seems far-fetched. Worse could follow in the waning days of his presidency if Trump gives full vent to his vindictive nature by inflaming his hardcore supporters or initiating an international crisis. Without bipartisan support, impeachment risks turning Trump into a martyr and further polarising the electorate.
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Fighting the dragon: we’re doing it wrong

December 28, 2020

As China slowly strangles our exports to break our will, Australians have responded with a range of emotions from anger and denunciation to self-blame and resignation. Difficult though it may be, we cannot afford to let emotion cloud our response to Beijing’s pressure tactics. Cool heads are required and, above all, an astutely targeted strategy that shields us from irreparable damage while working to stabilise the relationship and keep the door open to some form of reconciliation, no matter how distant the prospect.

But first we need to understand better why China is punishing Australia. This means cutting through the confused reactions and misperceptions that have obscured China’s real aims and tactics. Asserting we should “keep a low profile” or avoid “irritating China” is not a strategy.
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NT ‘could be a forward operating base for ADF’

October 30, 2020

The worst pandemic in a century bookends a wider set of national security challenges that are shaking up entrenched habits and assumptions.
Great power rivalry is at levels unseen since the Cold War and the destabilising consequences are rippling through Australia’s maritime front yard to Darwin’s north. The worst pandemic in a century bookends a wider set of national security challenges that are shaking up entrenched habits and assumptions, forcing governments everywhere to rethink their strategies and operating models.
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US-China decoupling and the eve of economic destruction

October 9, 2020

This year will go down as the century’s worst if measured by the disruption, misery and strife that has marked the Year of the Rat. There seems no end in sight to the cascading series of crises afflicting millions of people around the world. Even those with no religious bent must wonder whether the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been let loose as drought, wildfires, hurricanes, floods and pestilence continue to wreak havoc. Read more

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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Who’s afraid of the big bad wolves?

July 24, 2020

Australia may be chewing gum on China’s shoe, but Xi Jinping should consider the other 800-pound gorilla in the room.

Authoritarian countries have always been difficult for Western democracies to comprehend. Winston Churchill famously characterised Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”. But unravelling the mystery of China has proved even more difficult for the West despite centuries of trade and interaction.
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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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The US-China Cold War Has Already Started

July 8, 2020

The clashing geopolitical ambitions of the two states are fueling a rivalry that could be even more dangerous and consequential than the original Cold War.

The rift between the United States and China threatens to become a chasm. Barely a day passes without some tit-for-tat exchange of barbs, accusations, or actions designed to make life difficult for the other country or to trumpet the superiority of their respective political systems.
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