Asia / Blog

An Appraisal of Australian Maritime Strategy: Part II

Royal Australian Navy Frigate HMAS Anzac alongside a dhow – US NAVY via Wikimedia Commons

This post follows on from Part I to look at long-term and geographically dispersed Australian maritime strategies.

The importance of China

In East Asian regional security analyses, emphasis is often placed on the Malacca Strait between Malaysia and Indonesia as the main …

Americas / Blog

Continuity and Foreign Policy

Obama and Biden – The White House via Flickr


In 2008, Obama entered the oval office full of hopes, his campaign promises had included a completely different approach to foreign policy than his Republican predecessor. Obama had seduced American citizens and the world with his clear opposition to the war in Iraq, his recognition of …

Crescent group of the disputed Paracel Islands. via Wikimedia Commons.
Asia / Blog

Troubled Waters: Land Reclamation and Rising Tensions in the South China Sea

Crescent group of disputed Paracel Islands, 2008. via Wikimedia Commons.

The arena of a number of competing territorial claims – including from China, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan – the South China Sea is at the core of converging regional interests in the Asia-Pacific region. Encompassing an area through which 40 percent of the world’s …

U.S. Pacific Fleet in waters East of Okinawa (July 30, 2014) via Flickr Commons
Americas / Asia

The Geopolitics of the Oceans

U.S. Pacific Fleet in waters East of Okinawa (July 30, 2014) via Flickr Commons

The world’s oceans cover more than 70 percent of the Earth. They have been and still are an integral part of human history, our food chain and environment. Yet, most geopolitical discussions nowadays are focused on land based territorial disputes. This …

A high demand for smartphones in India - Nicolas Mirguet via Flickr Creative Commons
Asia / Blog

‘Make in India’ courts East Asia

A high demand for smartphones in India – Nicolas Mirguet via Flickr Creative Commons

Launched in 2014, ‘Make in India’ is a foreign policy initiative of Modi’s government in India. As its title suggests, the initiative is India’s biggest push to date to become a world-leading manufacturing centre.

Although most sectors are covered, from heavy industry to hospitality, …

Asia / Blog

India-China relations: Chess or Chinese checkers?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi JinPing at the Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati,India [[CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]

Board games look deceptively simple but are notoriously hard to play. While most physical sports get over in an hour or two, board games take much longer. The winner requires patience, perseverance …

Asia / Blog

India’s Foreign Policy Overdrive

President Obama with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington – US Government via Flickr

It has been a year since a new government headed by Narendra Modi assumed office in New Delhi. Political pundits believe India has since done better at managing its external affairs than its internal affairs.  Foreign policy has figured prominently as a focus area …

China Bi-Lateral Trade Agreement with UK - via Wikimedia Commons
Asia / Blog

Chinese Public Diplomacy and the Limits of Continued Opaqueness


China Bi-Lateral Trade Agreement with UK – via Wikimedia Commons

Public diplomacy in the 21st century is utilised as an instrument of soft power for national governments wishing to enhance their objectives abroad by establishing a dialogue with foreign publics. The term was formulated in 1965 by the Dean of Fletcher School of International Affairs, Edmund …

Chinese Marines prepare for an exercise.
Asia / Blog

Hard or Soft Power: China’s Conundrum

Statue of Confucius in Nanjing – Kevinsmithnyc via Wikimedia Commons

China faces a conundrum. Its economic might is growing at a rapid pace. Indeed, in some measures of economic wealth, China will overtake the United States later this year in economic output.  But this poses a problem. How does China leverage this newly found economic …