The Taiwan Test: How to Keep Democracy Alive in Asia

July 11, 2021

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”.
Read more

Australia a crucial hub for NATO in Asia

June 15, 2021

The Group of Seven meeting in Cornwall may well be a turning point in the democratic push back against China’s competing brand of assertive authoritarianism.

Having the US, Japan and the big European democracies on board will provide much needed moral and practical support for Scott Morrison’s determination to resist Beijing’s economic and diplomatic coercion.
Read more

Australia and the geopolitics of the new space race

June 12, 2021

There is a new space race underway, and while the US, China and Russia are the dominant players, a number of other countries and companies are vying for a piece of the lucrative space pie. Leading Australian strategist Alan Dupont and space law specialist Dr Cassandra Steer argue that Australia has the potential to be a much bigger player in the new space age, but at the moment we’re being left behind.
Duration: 16min 1sec
Listen here

Catching up in the space race isn’t a moon shot

May 29, 2021

China’s ‘God of Fire’ mission foreshadows a scramble for control of space — and Australia is being left behind.

The successful landing of China’s Zhurong “God of Fire” exploration rover on Mars is a major leap forward for the country’s ambitious space program, foreshadowing greater competition for control of space and its vast resources.

Rapid, reliable access to space is now an economic and national security imperative. Tthe Bank of America expects the value of the global space industry, estimated at more than $US424 billion in 2019, to reach $US1.4 trillion by 2030. There are around 3800 operational satellites orbiting the planet. Many more are planned, raising concerns about their vulnerability to attack by “malign actors” and damage from the estimated 128 million pieces of space junk in orbit.
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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