China-Australia decoupling? ASPI float a hydrogen balloon

It will become increasingly the case that if Australia doesn’t address the demands of the next economy, its prosperity, and therefore its security, will decline. In this context the development of an Australian clean steel industry using green hydrogen, proposed by ASPI’s Michael Shoebridge, looks enticing. But is it feasible of itself, let alone as part of decoupling from China’s economy? Or is it a distraction from the real economic and security issues facing Australia?

Read more

China-Australia relations: it’s not as simple as ABC

There are many commentators with strong and legitimate concerns about China. The relationship between Australia and China is a very important one and it warrants being debated openly and vigorously. But when those with privileged access to the public square confuse name calling and assertion with rational argument, it is important to point this out. The recent ABC article As Australia’s relationship with China deteriorates beyond repair, we need to find new trade partners is a case in point.

Read more

Strategic capitalism, geoeconomics and Australia’s choices

As market-based economic globalisation gives way to a system of state relations based largely on strategic capitalism, the Australian government seems to be using an outdated operating system. The demise of the multi-lateral, rules-based and open world will pose problems that demand imagination, innovation and deft and agile policy and diplomacy. In this environment Australia has a difficult course to chart.

Read more

Japan and China hold high-level dialogue on East China Sea tensions, trade and Covid-19

The first high-level dialogue between China and Japan since Yoshihide Suga succeeded Shinzo Abe as Japan’s Prime Minister in September have taken place in Tpkyo, with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi discussing maritime tensions over disputed islands in the East China Sea, trade and the Covid-19 pandemic response.

Read more

Biden says US should align with other democracies to set global trade rules to counter China’s influence

On Monday [16 November 2020], US President-elect Joe Biden said that the United States needed to negotiate with allies to set global trading rules to counter China’s growing influence – but declined to say whether the US would join the 15-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, the new trade pact that includes China, which was signed in Hanoi on Sunday [15 November 2020].

Read more

Australia hopes Asia-Pacific trade deal will improve ties with China

Australia hopes the trade deal about to be signed by 15 Asia-Pacific economies will help improve Australia’s strained relations with China. Australia’s Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said that the trade pact offers a platform that can lead to a positive change in relations. “The ball is very much in China’s court to come to the table for that dialogue,” he is reported to have said.

Read more