China strategy: Get a bigger stick with which to protect ourselves – Alan Dupont

April 30, 2021

In one of the more eventful weeks in Australian defence and foreign policy, the Morrison government terminated Victoria’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative deal with China; Defence Minister Peter Dutton declared that a war with China over Taiwan “should not be discounted”; Homeland Security Secretary Mike Pezzullo delivered a resonating speech about the “beating drums” of war; and Scott Morrison announced an upgrade of the Northern Territory’s training ranges in a move widely viewed as a response to China’s military build-up.
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Australia Cancels China Infrastructure Deal, Citing National Interest

April 22, 2021

Alan Dupont quoted in WSJ article:

ARTICLE— Australia’s federal government has canceled an infrastructure deal between China and one of Australia’s most populous states, following concerns that the arrangement could pose a national-security risk.

The state of Victoria, which includes Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, signed on to Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, a foreign-policy program in which China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects world-wide.
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China-Australia relations: Beijing set to dominate refined oil exports in Asia-Pacific region

March 22, 2021

Cognoscenti Group quoted in South China Morning Post

Article: A rapid increase in China’s crude oil refinery capacity will see it dominate exports in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly to Australia where there are concerns of a vulnerability in the supply chain, analysts say.

Chinese exports of refined oil products to Australia rose from a few thousand tonnes before 2011 to nearly 300,000 tonnes at the end of last year, according to figures from China customs. And given the announced closure of two of Australia’s last four refineries, its reliance on imports is expected to continue on that trajectory.
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China’s threat to the US makes us a power player

March 12, 2021

There’s a seminal shift underway in Australia’s relationship with the US based on mutual need and Morrison’s determination to act more forcefully.
Originally published in The Australian.

In a historic geopolitical shift, ­Australia is emerging as a key ­alliance hub and partner for the US in Asia as the Biden administration moves to reshape and strengthen its military to meet China’s growing challenge.
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Credit Biden’s bid for united states of democracy

March 10, 2021

Originally published at The Australian

Uniting democracies in defence of shared interests and values will be the cornerstone of US President Joe Biden’s foreign policy, showcased by his ambitious Summit for Democracy, to be held later this year. Biden wants the gathering to “bring together the world’s democracies to strengthen our democratic institutions, honestly confront nations that are backsliding, and forge a common agenda”. Read more

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