Defence secretary warns of China’s ‘unprecedented’ land reclamation activity in South China Sea

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The secretary of the Defence department, Dennis Richardson, has expressed Australia’s strong concern about China’s recent land reclamation in the South China Sea area. The Conversation - Michelle Grattan The speed and scale of the reclamation on disputed reefs and other features raised the question of China’s intent and purpose, Richardson said in very pointed comments, noting that if it were ... Read More »

Nepal’s Political Faultlines

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International Crisis Group worked regularly on Nepal from 2003-2012, publishing 33 reports in the period leading up to and following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the country’s decade-long civil war. Since 2012, Crisis Group has maintained a watching brief on the country. ICG - By Anagha Neelakantan Nepal’s people live a constant struggle to accumulate some insulation from the ... Read More »

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strike military deal

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Australia hopes to ink a deal with Japan this year that would smooth the passage of military personnel into one another’s country for joint exercises in a further tightening of strategic bonds amid concern about Chinese ambition in the region. The Age - David Wroe, National security correspondent Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday and ... Read More »

Drone Warfare’s Costs and Benefits

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Lethal drones are President Obama’s weapon of choice in striking at suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists in remote areas, but – as with any weapon of war – there must be a cost-benefit analysis, including whether drone strikes create more enemies than they kill, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains. Consortiumnews – By Paul R. Pillar * President Barack Obama’s announcement last month that earlier ... Read More »

Tony Abbott getting it wrong on the Roingya

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Something is very rotten in the state of Myanmar. By any measure and any definition, a tiny ethnic minority of Myanmar is the subject of genocide. This is not something recent, even if it has been largely ignored by Western governments and media. It has been going on for more than a decade. The Canberra Times - Irfan Yusuf Something is also ... Read More »

Aung San Suu Kyi is a bust

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There was so much hope for her as a moral leader in Myanmar, but power (or politics) has changed her The New York Times - By Zafar Sobhan * In the face of scathing criticism from international human rights groups, supporters of the sainted Aung San Suu Kyi are left with only one way to spin her inaction and silence on ... Read More »

Everything you need to know about the recently released Bin Laden documents

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U.S. intelligence officials have finally released a trove of documents recovered during the 2011 raid which ended Osama bin Laden’s life. The documents, declassified on May 20, offer a rare window into al Qaeda’s operations and its leader’s involvement in leading the network from his Pakistan hideaway. Australian National Review – By: Gabriela Motroc There are dozens of letters, some from the ... Read More »

Provoking Beijing in the South China Sea Will Only Backfire on Washington

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When China declares an Air Defense Identification Zone in the South China Sea, the United States will have only itself to blame. FP - BY FENG ZHANG Bizarrely, the United States military is trying to assert freedom of navigation by dispatching U.S. ships to sail within 12 nautical miles of China-controlled territories in the South China Sea, and by flying military ... Read More »

US arrests Chinese professor, indicts five others, for stealing secrets from Silicon Valley

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Washington: The Obama administration has announced the arrest of a Chinese professor and the indictment of five other Chinese citizens in what it contended was a decade-long scheme to steal microelectronics designs from Silicon Valley companies. The Age * – David E. Sanger The indictment was the broadest since five members of the People’s Liberation Army were indicted last year by the ... Read More »

What Would Taiwan Actually Gain from Reunification with China?

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“Can we name one thing that the Taiwanese do not enjoy at present that China could offer to them?” The National Interest – J. Michael Cole * With a third transition of power in Taiwan in 2016 looking increasingly likely and attendant fears that a return of the Democratic Progressive Party into office could “jeopardize” relations with an intransigent regime in Beijing, ... Read More »