Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Monday 20 May 2019 | 15:42 | SYDNEY

australia-china relations

Indo-Pacific security links: China's defence spending, submarine accidents, Abe-Modi, Ukraine and more

The Indo-Pacific is a strategic system encompassing the Indian and Pacific oceans, reflecting the expanding interests and reach of China and India as well as the enduring role of the US. The Lowy Institute's International Security program presents a weekly selection of links illuminating the changing security picture in this increasingly connected super-region.

China's navy showing its inexperience on the open oceans

The US Navy has formed the view that the November 2013 incident between the American cruiser Cowpens and the Chinese carrier group arose directly from the PLA Navy's lack of experience with oceanic operations and the formal and informal rules which govern interactions between foreign navies. That's the implication in an address given by US Pacific fleet commander Admiral Samuel Locklear to the Navy Surface Association Conference in January. In the past, the vast majority of encounters between th

Considering Indonesia's boundaries

Media reports of the Royal Australian Navy and Customs and Border Protection Service's recent breaches of Indonesia's territorial waters contain little detail of the actual transgressions, but it is most likely that they result from confusion over the way in which those waters are defined. Under the Law of the Sea as laid down within the 1982 UN Convention, territorial waters are generally taken as extending 12 nautical miles out from land.

A regional uranium enrichment centre in Australia?

It may seem anomalous that Australia, with a third of the world's uranium reserves, does not have a uranium enrichment industry to value-add on uranium exports.  This was seriously considered in the 1970s, when a consortium of four major Australian resource companies conducted an enrichment feasibility study.  For a number of reasons, including Labor's adoption of an anti-nuclear stance, this study was never taken further.  The most recent commercial involvement was the laser-based enrichment R&

India links: Election 2014, Manmohan Singh's legacy, Modi's foreign policy and more

Following the announcement that he will retire after the elections this year, what will Manmohan Singh's legacy look like? Meanwhile, the Congress Party has hired a PR firm to revamp Rahul Gandhi's public image. Saubhik Chakrabarti argues that Rahul should decline to be the Congress candidate for prime minister, and instead focus on reforming the way Congress chooses its candidates. Was 2013 the worst year in Indian foreign policy? 

17 Corps: As China rises, India's army raises the stakes

Last year, after a long period of dithering and uncertainty, India’s cabinet finally gave the go-ahead for the raising of a massive new offensive army unit, the 80-90,000-strong China-facing 17 Corps (a corps comprises roughly three divisions). Its underlying purpose is to provide conventional deterrence against China, strengthening India’s hand in crises. Four years after the idea was first mooted, and after a rough year for Sino-Indian relations, it is finally coming to fruition.

New weapons reveal China's technological ambitions and limits

The Christmas/New Year period has been busy for those who watch Chinese military developments. For pure symbolic power, it was impossible to beat the first publicity photos of a Chinese carrier battlegroup, featuring not only China's sole carrier, the Liaoning, but various powerful escort ships (see below).

Indo-Pacific security links: Yasukuni, Malaysia's strategy, Asian order and more

Late last year, tensions in East Asia flared after Japanese Prime Minister Abe made a controversial official visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. What are the consequences of the visit likely to be and will it hurt US-Japan relations? Malaysia is pursuing a two-fold strategy in the South China Sea, strengthening relations with both China and its ASEAN neighbours. Do the recent reforms in Japan’s defence establishment mark a return to defence normalcy?

AgustaWestland, corruption and India's procurement problems

India has no difficulty paying for its arms purchases. After all, three years ago it overtook China as the world's largest arms importer, a somewhat unenviable position (Delhi would rather be making its own weapons). India also seems constitutionally incapable of pushing through the most important deals to fruition, in large part due to a bureaucracy and political class paralysed by real or perceived corruption.

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