East Asia

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Governance, leadership and legitimacy in East Asia

This paper examines the political and government systems in East Asia in the wider context of the growth of populism worldwide. It argues that the countries of the region should seek multilateral solutions to global and regional problems.
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East Asia’s decoupling

New data suggests East Asia is no longer as reliant on US or Western markets as it once was. Instead, led by a huge expansion in Chinese demand, the region has become far more internally driven, making it somewhat less vulnerable to current global trade...
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Autopilot: East Asia policy under Trump

Despite President Donald Trump’s promise to adopt an America First foreign policy, US policies in East Asia — on issues from trade, to diplomatic engagement, to the North Korean nuclear crisis — now more closely resemble those of Trump’s predecessors than his campaign vision.
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The strategic risks of East Asia’s slowing economies

This paper argues that the strategic challenges facing East Asia are being amplified by economic uncertainty and by the narrow reliance of governments on their ability to deliver growth for political legitimacy.
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Time to start worrying again? Cross-strait stability after the 2016 Taiwanese elections

Overview This study argues that the Taiwan Strait will remain dangerous and that Canberra needs to pay closer attention to the evolving cross-strait situation. Of crucial importance is the question of whether Australia should support its US ally in a future Taiwan contingency. The report...
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Scientific cooperation in the South China Sea: another lever for China?

Overview Security issues in the South China Sea are often studied, whereas analysis of scientific cooperation in those waters is rare, thinly spread and short. This paper looks at shared priorities, China's leading role in launching scientific programs, implications for the environment, and the use...
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What are Australia’s national security interests in the South China Sea?

Abstract This paper examines Australia’s national security interests in the South China Sea. It notes that a number of states lay claim to various islands in the region, and that territorial disputes over those claims have occasionally erupted into armed conflict in the past. The...
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Asia’s strategic challenge: manoeuvring between the US and China

This paper outlines the dilemmas faced by Asian countries caught in strategic competition between great powers. Abstract This paper by Singapore’s Ambassador-at-large Bilahari Kausikan was the inaugural Shedden Lecture in Strategy and Defence. It artfully describes the tension regional countries face and advocates a posture...
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Crowded waters: naval competition in the Asia–Pacific

Overview: This report analyses the regional trend of key nations investing in more capable naval and air platforms. In Northeast Asia, countries include China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In Southeast Asia, the paper looks at Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. This...
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The A word: an accomodationist strategy for US-China relations

This paper argues that by identifying clear ideas about acceptable conduct in the key domains (Maritime, Space and Cyber) the US and China can avoid conflict without presuming away differences of interest or opinion.
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Strengthening rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific

This paper explores the opportunities for both Australia and Japan jointly to promote their shared interest in strengthening the rule of law in the Asia–Pacific. Overview The rule of law is an essential condition if cooperation and orderly behaviour are to be advanced in the...
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Escalation in Northeast Asia: a strategic challenge for Australia

This paper examines the possible escalation of conflict between China and Japan and the implications for Australia and the US. Executive summary: Political competition and a lack of crisis management mechanisms could make it very hard for China and Japan to resist escalatory pressures in...
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Conflict in the East China Sea: would ANZUS apply?

This paper analyses the circumstances under which conflict in the East China Sea could occur and the implications for Australia.
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Keeping the South China Sea in perspective

Outlines the competing interests behind tensions in the South China Sea and makes policy recommendations for the United States. Executive summary The South China Sea disputes involve the interests of the United States, particularly with regard to freedom of navigation, international norms and law, relations...
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So, what if India becomes a member of the SCO?

If India gains full membership of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, it could have a huge impact on the international order, argues this report.
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Responding to Indo-Pacific rivalry: Australia, India and middle power coalitions

In this Analysis, Lowy Institute International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf and Nonresident Fellow C. Raja Mohan argue that Chinese assertiveness and uncertainties about America’s role in Indo-Pacific Asia are causing middle powers to look for alternative approaches to regional security.
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Power and order in Asia: a survey of regional expectations

This survey of strategic elites in eleven Asia Pacific economies examines the implications of major power rivalries and confrontation, coinciding with increased economic cooperation and community building. Overview Asia stands out as the world’s most vibrant region, where rivalries and confrontation coincide with increased economic...
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Facing west, facing north: Canada and Australia in East Asia

This report, published by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), calls for Canada and Australia to deepen their regional security cooperation in East Asia.
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Northeast Asia's turbulent triangle: Korea-China-Japan relations

Introduction: In this workshop report Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Dr Malcolm Cook examines the bilateral relationships in Northeast Asia. He argues that ties between China and Japan, China and South Korea, and South Korea and Japan are in a period of fundamental change driven mainly...
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Ringing in a new order? Hegemony, hierarchy, and transition in East Asia

Executive summary Regional institutions have been created not only to socialise China, but also to legitimise the United States’ continuing role in East Asia. East Asian regionalism poses a limited challenge to the US-led global order. There remains significant regional demand for the US to...