The evolution of Australia’s China challenge

Cascading wake-up moments have shaken Australia’s view of China over the past five years. The realisations—a succession of gee-whizz, crikey and oops events—have pushed Canberra to new places. The impact doesn’t amount to shock; this is China, after all. But it has caused shifts. And shifts have cumulative effects. Shakes shove at policy and politicians. Moods and modes move, overturning the bureaucratic evolution of policy as predictable layering on the existing base. Crikey moments have taken the comfort out of China policy. The incremental approach suffers gee-whizz gyrations. We’ve just…

Trump backs Aust push for COVID-19 probe | The Grenfell Record

Donald Trump has enthusiastically told his 80 million Twitter followers he is behind the Australian-backed push for an independent COVID-19 inquiry. The US president retweeted an AAP Newswire/SBS story on Monday detailing how 116 countries are supporting the probe. “We are with them!” the president wrote above a link to the story. Trump’s tweet will likely add to rising tensions between the US and China. China is slapping punitive tariffs of more than 80 per cent on Australian barley imports. The tariffs come one week after China imposed a ban…

Explaining China’s space ambitions and goals through the lens of strategic culture

  A Long March 5B successfully lifts off May 5 on its first flight, clearing the way for future launches of Chinese space station modules. (credit: Xinhua) by Namrata GoswamiMonday, May 18, 2020 We all need conceptual tools for analysis. Strategic culture is one of them. I define strategic culture as a sum of a nation’s assumptions about its reality (threats, opportunities) based on which certain policy choices are preferred over others. These policy choices are informed by the state’s political culture reflecting both continuity and change over time. Political…

No Shipbuilding Plan, But Navy Works On New Ships To Counter China « Breaking Defense

The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit moves through the Gulf of Aden during an amphibious assault rehearsal. WASHINGTON: The Navy might not yet have an overarching plan to design and build its fleet of the future, but it is taking small steps that provide clues as to where service leadership wants to go. Over the past week, the Navy announced two industry days to meet with prospective shipbuilders for a new class of logistics ship that can operate under fire, and an unmanned anti-mine vessel, both new programs that would allow…

Assessing China’s Assertiveness at Commodore Reef – The Diplomat

Advertisement The incident earlier this year between Philippine and Chinese naval vessels near Commodore Reef foreshadows dynamics that might characterize regional maritime security in the face of an increasingly assertive China. In this regard, it is essential to reexamine the incident through the lens of international law and good order at sea to understand its implications.  Revisiting the Commodore Reef Incident On February 17, 2020, the Philippine Navy corvette BRP Conrado Yap  (PS-39) conducted a patrol mission near the Philippine-occupied Commodore Reef in the South China Sea (SCS). During the…

Trump backs Aust push for COVID-19 probe | Crookwell Gazette

Donald Trump has enthusiastically told his 80 million Twitter followers he is behind the Australian-backed push for an independent COVID-19 inquiry. The US president retweeted an AAP Newswire/SBS story on Monday detailing how 116 countries are supporting the probe. “We are with them!” the president wrote above a link to the story. Trump’s tweet will likely add to rising tensions between the US and China. China is slapping punitive tariffs of more than 80 per cent on Australian barley imports. The tariffs come one week after China imposed a ban…

The 5 Ways the Pandemic Is Hardening U.S.-China Competition

That U.S.-China relations have plummeted over the course of the pandemic is no secret. An internal Chinese government think tank report, which leaked this week, even warned China’s top leaders that there was increasing risk of the U.S.-China relationship sliding into conflict. But why exactly is U.S.-China competition hardening at this moment? After all, foreign-policy analysts often argue that despite their tensions, Washington and Beijing should still be able to cooperate on global issues where their interests align, such as pandemics and climate change. The COVID-19 crisis has ravaged both…

Coronavirus origins: Sars experts reveal how Covid-19 could be traced back | Science | News

The WHO has said that China’s scientists are investigating the origins of Covid-19, amid the country facing backlash over its handling of the deadly disease so far. The research includes environmental sampling at markets and farms in areas where the first human cases were identified and tracing the source and type of wildlife species and farmed animals sold in wet markets. The university’s Dr Leo Poon Lit-man, one of the first experts to decode the Sars genetic sequence and develop diagnostic tests, explained why it was important to trace and understand…

Learning in the South China Sea: The U.S. Response to the West Capella Standoff

Malaysian oil exploration in a contested area of the South China Sea sparked a “five-nation face off” in April, with Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese, U.S., and Australian maritime forces sailing within relatively close proximity. When the responding U.S. Navy Expeditionary Strike Group departed after spending only a few days in the area, some observers panned the U.S. response as uninvited, insufficient, and having emboldened China. The passage of a few weeks has shown these accusations to be premature, but also highlighted a recurring weakness in the U.S. approach to maritime security…