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South China Sea: After the Hague ruling, what's next?

28 June 2016

Two scenarios are possible: China ignores the ruling and carries on as before. Or an irate Beijing escalates the tension in the region, calling Washington’s bluff. Any day now the Permanent...

UN Security Council. Image courtesy of Zack Lee on Flickr.

The South China Sea: next stop the UN Security Council?

30 May 2016

All the signs indicate that China is preparing to reject the anticipated adverse judgment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea. The Philippines is arguing that China is acting...

Use of Australia's defence force will represent a failure of policy, especially in any China-related contingency.  Photo: Xinhua News Agency

Playing by the global rules

26 February 2016

Australia’s 2016 Defence white paper uses the term “rules-based global order” 56 times, compared with just nine instances in its 2013 predecessor. This order, we are told, is “a shared...

Facing reality in the South China Sea

18 February 2016

The news that China has placed surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island, part of the disputed Paracel Islands group in the South China Sea, will surprise many observers. In September 2015, Chinese...

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, right, speaks with U.S. Navy Cmdr. Robert C. Francis Jr. aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in the South China Sea on Nov. 5

US 'sail through' will not deter China

11 November 2015

President Barack Obama’s decision to send a U.S. Navy ship through waters claimed by China, around an artificial island in the South China Sea, was presented as a warning that Washington will...

Source: Canberra Times

Wave of rhetoric on South China Sea sets dangerous tone

15 October 2015

As China island-hops its way across the South China Sea, should Australia be concerned about Beijing’s land reclamation activities? And should we be encouraging the US to take a tougher line,...

Source: AAP/EAF

What’s displacing Air Sea Battle in US military planning?

1 October 2015

In a slow moving transition underway since late 2014, there are strong signs that the often-criticised US Air Sea Battle operational concept is being quietly — albeit not officially — sidelined as a...

Source: The Straits Times

Life after the Bangkok blast

24 August 2015

The slaughter of innocent people in Bangkok last week was a shocking event. But its immediate political and social implications are probably limited. Cleaners and street sweepers of the Bangkok...

Source: AAP/EAF

Subplots in Thailand’s submarine setback

12 August 2015

In June 2015, several announcements suggested that Thailand would acquire three Chinese submarines for 36 billion baht (US$1.03billion). But by mid-July, Thai Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon stated...

Source: AAP

Australia needs a diplomatic sea change in the South China Sea

24 June 2015

Despite its calls for ‘more Jakarta and less Geneva’, the Abbott government appears to have fallen into a passive approach to multilateral diplomacy. And as tensions in the South China Sea ratchet up...

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