Sam Bateman


Assessing the South China Sea award

The Philippines had a major, if unenforceable, win against China in the 12 July South China Sea Arbitration under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. But the implications go beyond the bilateral dispute between China and the Philippines and it carries...

Chinese investment in the Port of Darwin: a strategic risk for Australia?

Overview Few strategic issues have galvanised public attention in Australia as the decision by the Northern Territory Government to lease key facilities in the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company, Landbridge. This Strategic Insights brings together items published on our blog The Strategist as...
Journal article

Some thoughts on Australia and the freedoms of navigation

Freedoms of navigation and overflight (FON) are extremely important to Australia both economically and strategically. This is mainly because of Australia’s dependence on seaborne trade most of which passes through the archipelagos to our north and north-east. The archipelagic arc stretching from Indonesia, the Philippines...

Terms of engagement: Australia’s regional defence diplomacy

Australia is in the process of pivoting back to our own region and looking for new strategies for Defence re-engagement. But the Defence Cooperation Program hasn’t been scrutinised in any depth since an audit report by the Auditor-General in 2001. That pointed to a lack...

Making waves: Australian ocean development assistance

This paper argues for ocean development to be a key strategic goal of Australia's increased aid investments. In particular, it recommends that AusAID fund key features of the follow-on to Australia's successful Defence funded Pacific Patrol Boat program. Australia has a vital national interest in...