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Opinion & Commentary


Opinion and Commentary contains media articles written by CIS researchers.  Communications Manager: Karla Pincott 0411 759 934

  • Beijing will beat Washington in the South China Sea’s battle of wills

    26 Jun 2015 | China Spectator

    At the opening of the seventh annual United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue earlier this week, US Vice-President Joe Biden launched yet another diplomatic broadside against Chinese territorial... Read More

  • Islamic relations: The victim mentality will not help Muslim cause

    15 Jun 2015 | Daily Telegraph

    What is required on the part of Muslim and non-Muslim Australians alike is a new attitude to combatting the problem of Muslim radicalisation. Read More

  • Australia should stay out of the South China Sea

    04 Jun 2015 | China Spectator

    Canberra looks set to wade into the South China Sea’s turbulent waters.   Read More

  • Australia should intervene in Syria to defeat Islamic State

    27 May 2015 | The Australian

    Despite a rich civilizational inheritance stretching back millennia, the Syrian city of Palmyra is fast becoming a byword for savagery. Read More

  • Australia should intervene in Syria to defeat Islamic State

    27 May 2015 | The Australian

    Despite a rich civilizational inheritance stretching back millennia, the Syrian city of Palmyra is fast becoming a byword for savagery. Read More

  • The United States should not seek strategic primacy in Asia

    13 May 2015 | China Spectator

    The strategic sands in Asia are steadily shifting in China’s favour.   Read More

  • The real and present threat of China’s territorial claims

    25 Apr 2015 | China Spectator

    The temperature just surged a few degrees in the South China Sea’s heated territorial dispute between China and its Southeast Asian neighbours. Read More

  • Hugh White is right even when wrong

    13 Apr 2015 | China Spectator

    Foreign policy commentary in Australia can be a fratricidal business.   Read More

  • Beijing’s hypocrisy on Ukraine discredits Chinese foreign policy

    11 Feb 2015 | Business Spectator

    Last week’s three-way meeting between the Russian, Indian and Chinese foreign ministers in Beijing offered a stark lesson in diplomatic dishonesty. Read More

  • Don’t rule out war with China

    12 Jan 2015 | Business Spectator

    Canberra should offer no assurances of neutrality and should leave open the option of joining a US-supported Japanese war with China.   Read More

  • Mercantilist mindset and good fortune make successful China policy

    12 Dec 2014 | Business Spectator

    While the Abbott government trumpets its China-Australia free trade agreement win, it continues to stumble over the non-commercial aspects of China policy. Read More

  • Why Bob Carr is right about China

    12 Nov 2014 | China Spectator

    Canberra must remain ready to point out with ‘absolutely unruffled’ confidence that pursuit of Australia’s national interest will not always be synonymous with pursuit of a deeper embrace with Beijing. Read More

  • Comment: Democracy with Chinese characteristics

    10 Oct 2014 | Business Spectator

    Beyond inspiring global solidarity, the impassioned pleas for genuine democracy in Hong Kong are even converting mainland Chinese to the cause. Read More

  • Comment: Struggle against Islamist ideology will last centuries

    06 Oct 2014 | Online Opinion

    Combating Islamic State’s deadly global reach gets more urgent by the day. Read More

  • How to counterbalance China's swelling military power

    09 Sep 2014 | Business Spectator

    At the peak of American power in the immediate post-Cold War period, then-US President George H.W. Bush declared the birth of a ‘new world order.’ According to Bush Senior, it would be a world in... Read More

  • Hard-headed realism needed in the South China Sea

    13 Aug 2014 | Business Spectator

    Hopes of resolving the South China Sea’s bitter territorial disputes have once again proven illusory. Read More

  • Beijing sinks South China Sea code of conduct

    21 Jul 2014 | China Spectator

    In the South China Sea, Beijing still refuses to accept the rules of conduct, preferring to bully its way to control of disputed territory. Read More

  • Beijing’s real international ambitions

    11 Jun 2014 | China Spectator

    Beijing will continue to violently revolt against Asia’s territorial status quo. Read More

  • China's Leninist impulses hold the country back

    03 Jun 2014 | ABC The Drum

    Each year the CCP summarily incarcerates and places under house arrest activists, journalists and academics it worries will "provoke unrest". Read More

  • The real threat to China’s security is internal

    12 May 2014 | China Spectator

    The CCP is failing to rise to the challenge of maintaining social stability and internal order among diverse ethnic minority provinces. Read More

  • China's rise is waking up the neighbours

    03 Apr 2014 | China Spectator

    Worryingly for Beijing, key Asian powers are banding together in a bid to contain China’s territorial and strategic ambitions. Read More

  • US military might ensures Beijing's bark is worse than its bite

    17 Mar 2014 | On Line Opinion

    Washington should continue to use its security presence in the Western Pacific to caution against and undercut Chinese attempts to alter the territorial status quo. Read More

  • Washington should not give ground in Asia

    13 Mar 2014 | China Spectator

    Will a weary Washington soon be forced to concede regional leadership to a bullish Beijing? Read More

  • Australia's overseas aid should focus on domestic reforms

    27 Nov 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Thestrategic goals guiding Australia's aid program are admirable but exclude the most powerful tool for fuelling economic development. Read More

  • China’s adaptive authoritarianism is here to stay

    18 Nov 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Capitalist liberal democracy’s twentieth century victories against expansionist fascism and communism were hard-won and yet also unequivocal. Read More

  • Beijing's reforms entrench a democratic deficit

    08 Nov 2013 | Business Spectator

    China’s enduring authoritarianism seems out of place at a time of explosive protest movements in Turkey, Brazil, Egypt and elsewhere in the developing world. Read More

  • Banking on China’s democratic deficit

    05 Nov 2013 | The Strategist

    The scale of China’s challenges is staggering but the CCP is well placed to tackle mounting institutional, social, political and environmental problems. Read More

  • Age of prosperity no longer a path to democracy

    31 Oct 2013 | The Drum

    Increasing prosperity will encourage minor democratic reforms, but it will only push nations a few steps down the long and arduous path to democracy. Read More

  • A round of drinks speaks all languages in Asia literacy debate

    03 Oct 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Both sides of politics clearly need an Asia literacy reality check. Read More

  • Nothing to fear from China's foreign policy

    08 Jul 2013 | The Canberra Times

    Chinese President Xi Jinping knows Asian stability will only help his ambitions. Read More

  • Unrealistic expectations of Australian defence spending

    04 Apr 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Australian defence planners must abandon inefficient big-ticket capital purchases in favour of a more sustainable and balanced defence force structure. Read More

  • Don't let Iraq syndrome prolong the slaughter in Syria

    27 Mar 2013 | The Drum

    The memory of the the rash military adventurism in Iraq is still fresh, but that must not prevent us from using force to help end the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Read More

  • Abundant Asian Century opportunities for an already Asia-savvy Australia

    25 Feb 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Tapping into the Asian Century bonanza does not mean that Australia requires costly education and training programs. Read More

  • No need for Asian Century panic

    21 Feb 2013 | The Drum

    Why the anxiety over readying Australia for the Asian Century? Read More

  • The case for complacency about Australia’s engagement with Asia

    12 Feb 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Calls for Australia to embrace Asia are unfounded; our Asian embrace is already extensive and only getting deeper. Read More

  • Business didn’t wait for White Paper

    09 Nov 2012 | The National Business Review

    We can expect meagre policy returns from the Asian Century White Paper. Read More

  • A cultural revolution to celebrate

    27 Oct 2012 | The Spectator

    In a very real sense, Australia is already Asian. Read More

  • Australia’s Nuclear Sub Option

    26 Oct 2012 | The Diplomat

    Australia needs the best submarines it can get, and that means the U.S. Navy’s Virginia Class nuclear-powered attack submarine. Read More

  • Sorry, Malcolm, Australia needs the US in the Asian century

    13 Jun 2012 | The Age

    Now is the time for our friendship with America to prosper and thrive. Read More

  • No easy solutions in Syria

    28 May 2012 | The Drum

    There are no easy options in the Syria situation. Read More

  • Reduced defence spending may well be sound public policy

    21 May 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Australia is under US protection and the world is a more peaceful place now. Read More

  • War-war when jaw-jaw fails?

    18 May 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    Despite a United Nations and Arab League-sponsored ceasefire agreement and the deployment of growing numbers of UN observers, Syrian troops continue to fire on civilians. Read More

  • End the cargo-cult aid mentality that has ruined our neighbours

    16 Apr 2012 | The Australian

    Pacific elites have appropriated the bulk of aid, mineral, forestry and other incomes to become immensely wealthy at the cost of villagers. Read More

  • Faith placed in Uncle Sam as neighbourhood warily welcomes China

    29 Mar 2012 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Australians have become used to thinking about the rise of China, the role of America, and what the interplay between these two powers means for us. Related Read More

  • EU referendum is a bad Irish joke

    22 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    Economically, whatever happens in Ireland will not be decisive for the future of the euro. That is more likely being decided in Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Athens and Lisbon. But to the rest of Europe watching... Read More

  • Liberal democracies do it their own way

    27 Feb 2012 | The Newcastle Herald

    Arab Springs don’t bring Western clones Read More

  • Avoiding conflict but quietly waving flag

    21 Nov 2011 | Newcastle Herald

    Southeast Asian governments will welcome increased US involvement in the region. Read More

  • Italy defaults on debt and sends lenders broke? So be it

    15 Nov 2011 | Crikey

    The federal government will need to cut spending to ensure a surplus in 2012-13. Read More

  • Going long on European deja vu

    03 Nov 2011 | The Business Spectator

    Markets were euphoric, political leaders relieved. “Europe has taken a step forward. Europe and Greece will emerge stronger from this crisis,” Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou boasted to reporters.... Read More

  • Europe’s forgotten lessons of history

    28 Oct 2011 | ThirdLink Newsletter

    The rise and fall of the Euro is just another chapter in the long history of monetary unions in Europe. The Euro was not the first attempt to unite different European economies and countries by a monetary... Read More

  • The march of democracy in Southeast Asia

    20 Sep 2011 | Online Opinion

    Both Malaysia and Singapore are nominally democratic. Yet both are what Fareed Zakaria calls 'illiberal democracies': "democratically elected regimes... routinely ignoring constitutional limits on their... Read More

  • Skilled arrivals work in Australia's favour

    07 Sep 2011 | The Newcastle Herald

    We are the richer for being more selective with our immigration policy in Australia Read More

  • Setting a European time bomb

    10 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    The announcement by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade US government debt may have been historic but largely inconsequential Read More

  • US Congress swapped a crisis yesterday for a bigger crisis tomorrow

    09 Aug 2011 | Crikey

    I provoked a tirade of abuse from Crikey readers in the past fortnight when I suggested it would be preferable that the $14.3 trillion United States debt ceiling not be raised. Read More

  • Hitting pause on the eurozone crisis

    04 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    Every year, the Centre for Independent Studies hosts a high-level conference in Queensland. One of the speakers this year was Thilo Sarrazin, the author of the equally controversial and successful (1.3... Read More

  • Complacency is the danger in Asia's power games

    01 Aug 2011 | The Australian

    Even if one disagrees with Wolfowitz's thinking on the Middle East, this viewpoint on China policy cannot be easily dismissed. The assistant secretary of state for east Asia and the Pacific when Ferdinand... Read More

  • Complacency is the danger in Asia's power games

    01 Aug 2011 | The Australian

    Even if one disagrees with Wolfowitz's thinking on the Middle East, this viewpoint on China policy cannot be easily dismissed. The assistant secretary of state for east Asia and the Pacific when Ferdinand... Read More

  • Greece bailout: prolonging pain for no real gain

    22 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Rescuing the country with another bailout would only prolong the pain. Greece squandered money on the Olympic Games, an over-sized bureaucracy and easy loans Read More

  • Paying dearly for European insanity

    21 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    it would be tempting to seize the moment and rehash all the arguments for why the euro will never work and cannot be saved. Read More

  • The PC empire strikes back

    20 Jul 2011 | The Australian

    GERMAN banker Thilo Sarrazin is a pariah for saying things few would question here. Read More

  • Pakistan a Chinese pawn to stall India

    19 Jul 2011 | The Australian

    AT the Shangri-La Dialogue meeting of defence ministers in Singapore last month, Indian Defence Minister Pallam Raju was asked whether India could exercise similar self-restraint should another terrorist... Read More

  • A bad time to damage our economy as the next stage of the GFC looms

    15 Jul 2011 | The Australian

    WITH the US fiscal crisis nearing a dramatic finale, downgrades of European debt ratings continuing and the euro crisis deteriorating, the global financial crisis has just moved into a new phase. Read More

  • Learning from Europe's competitive spirit

    14 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    One of the classic questions of economic history is how the West grew rich. Read More

  • Has the EU's stress test failed?

    07 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    As the whole world worried about a potential Greek collapse, another European country experienced two actual bank failures. Read More

  • China’s exports don’t fuel boom

    06 Jul 2011 | The Washington Times

    While China undoubtedly needs both for the communist party to remain in power, the dilemma for the country’s leaders is that the way China achieves rapid economic growth is increasingly the reason behind... Read More

  • ASEAN must include US in talks on South China Sea

    05 Jul 2011 | The Jakarta Post

    Indonesia was positioning itself as an ‘honest broker’ in the South China Sea dispute. Now it appears much more circumspect. Read More

  • Sending profits abroad is a good thing

    04 Jul 2011 | Online Opinion

    It is amazing how easily people are convinced by this 'sending profits abroad' argument, when it is just a protectionist fallacy. Read More

  • Foreign investment will boost food security

    02 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Foreigners acquiring Australian farm land appears to unite all political parties, we shouldn’t allow commercial decisions to be overridden my populist votes. Read More

  • US will Remain the Preeminent Player in Asia

    01 Jul 2011 | China - US Focus

    In early May, I gave an interview to the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper arguing that China was probably ‘the loneliest rising great power in world history’ Read More

  • Beware China's control of rare earth minerals

    27 Jun 2011 | The Wall Street Journal

    China’s rare-earth quota policies will have global repercussions. Read More

  • China and the tactical utility of international norms

    22 Jun 2011 | Australian Strategic Policy Institute

    China is finding it difficult to translate economic size into normative leadership, let alone dominance. Read More

  • Missing the woods for the trees

    21 Jun 2011 | The Hindustan Times

    China won't be happy if India becomes an Asia power. Read More

  • China's influence gap

    06 Jun 2011 | The Wall Street Journal

    Beijing is finding that translating its economic size into regional strategic and diplomatic leverage is more difficult than it first appeared. Read More

  • Japan's economic demons dog China

    24 May 2011 | Business Spectator

    The enduring flaws in Japan’s political economy’s continue to stunt its growth. Read More

  • China's self-defeating currency policy

    12 May 2011 | Business Week

    Although a stronger yuan would be better for the economy, it would hurt the Chinese Communist Party. Read More

  • China’s America Obsession:

    06 May 2011 | Foreign Policy

    Osama bin Laden’s death will only accelerate America’s reengagement with its Asian allies and partners at China’s expense. Read More

  • PM may trump Rudd in managing China

    21 Apr 2011 | The Australian

    Gillard’s lack of foreign policy experience and ambition could well be a blessing in disguise. Read More

  • The China hedge

    04 Apr 2011 | The National Interest

    Beijing’s mantra of ‘building mutual respect and trust’ remains hollow. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to change since ambiguity is at the heart of China’s military grand strategy. Read More

  • Why Taiwan will fail

    01 Apr 2011 | The Wall Street Journal

    Taipei has a plan to make a virtue out of the necessity of greater integration. But Beijing will demand reunification and time is on its side. Read More

  • Cracks in ‘Great Firewall of China’

    01 Apr 2011 | The Washington Times

    A blogger’s disappearance in China reveals nervous despots. Read More

  • Good news for Chinese banks, bad news for reforms

    31 Mar 2011 | Forbes

    Beijing has been increasing the spread in Chinese banks to improve the quality of their assets. Put simply, the more money China's dominant state-owned banks lend, the greater their profits. Read More

  • The Fiji meeting would be a farce if it were funny

    30 Mar 2011 | The Canberra Times

    ‘Melanesia’ is an anthropologists’ construct that has no economic and little other sense. It the arcane world of United Nations politics it was promoted as a ‘region’ to create jobs for bureaucrats,... Read More

  • Haunted by China's ghost cities

    29 Mar 2011 | Business Spectator

    If Australia thinks it can avoid the ‘Dutch disease’ by relying on the relentless construction of empty Chinese shopping malls, ghost cities and unused infrastructure, then we too could be in for a... Read More

  • Why Australia's socialist Prime Minister now loves America

    11 Mar 2011 | The Weekly Standard

    Hedging against authoritarian China by strengthening the U.S.-led hub-and-spokes security system in the region is now Australia’s preferred—and possibly only—option. Read More

  • Party needs to loosen its grip

    09 Mar 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Chinese mode of governance is highly corrupt and dependent on questionable lending practices, while local wards gain revenue through unsustainable and often illegal property development enterprises. Read More

  • Malaysia's phony war on affirmative action

    04 Mar 2011 | Business Week

    Policies favouring the Malay majority over Chinese and Indian Malaysians must change, but progress so far has been slight. Read More

  • The problem with China’s banks – unknown and unknowable

    02 Mar 2011 | The Asian Banker

    The official accounts of China’s banks indicating reasonable financial health simply do make sense. Just as senior banking executives cannot predict what the majority of their branches will do, they... Read More

  • Indonesia's tightrope act

    25 Feb 2011 | The Gulf News

    Asean leadership will help Indonesia use the US as a counterweight to China in Southeast Asia without making Beijing feel isolated. Read More

  • Egypt's fate could yet be Malaysia's future

    25 Feb 2011 | The Australian

    When announcing his "new economic model" last year, Najib became the first Malaysian prime minister to explicitly link the country's economic and social problems with its four-decades long affirmative-action... Read More

  • Charm defensive

    John Lee | 18 Feb 2011 | Hindustan Times

    As the other great foundational civilisation in Asia, India presents a unique challenge to China that other big Asian powers such as Japan do not. Read More

  • Jakarta's year of leading diplomatically

    Jessica Brown | 11 Feb 2011 | The Wall Street Journal

    The Asean member states are playing a difficult game of balancing and constraining China while benefiting from the economic opportunities of its rise. Read More

  • Watching Egypt crumble: Mideast chaos emboldens China's hard-liners

    John Lee | 04 Feb 2011 | The Washington Times

    But while many Western observers hope the unrest in Egypt might cause the CCP to think twice about maintaining its iron grip, unrest in the Middle East is bring home some very different lessons for Beijing. Read More

  • Washington's affair with Jakarta gets serious

    Jessica Brown | 03 Feb 2011 | ABC News

    With China flexing its muscles in the South China Sea, and Indonesia resuming its traditional leadership role in South East Asia, both Washington and Jakarta are eager to prioritise security cooperation. Read More

  • Hu's real agenda

    John Lee | 21 Jan 2011 | The Wall Street Journal

    An improvement in Sino-U.S. diplomatic relations is not the same as cooperation. Read More

  • Cooperation and the Chinese Hydra

    John Lee | 20 Jan 2011 | The National Interest

    The Chinese leader does not have the authority to make the hard decisions that Obama will be pressing him to make—meaning that doing business with China will be a lot more chaotic and unpredictable than... Read More

  • How the U.S. Can Manage Expectations of U.S.-China Talks

    John Lee | 19 Jan 2011 | Time Magazine

    Whoever is leading China is not a dominant leader with real power, but a figure riding a streak of tigers often pulling in different directions. Read More

  • Beijing’s motives behind rare-earth metals

    John Lee | 03 Jan 2011 | Forbes

    There’s a growing suspicion that China is increasingly taking a zero-sum rather than ‘win-win’ approach to open markets and free trade. Read More

  • People's republics

    John Lee | 23 Dec 2010 | The Hindustan Times

    By 2040, the world may be talking, not about a Washington or Beijing consensus, but a 'Mumbai Consensus' on economic development. Read More

  • China's national insecurity

    John Lee | 20 Dec 2010 | The Wall Street Journal

    Beijing sees Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize as part of an international strategy to contain China's rise. Read More

  • China and India's Growing Energy Rivalry

    John Lee | 17 Dec 2010 | Businessweek

    Competition for oil and gas resources will be the most likely cause of serious tension between the two Asian giants in the years ahead. Read More

  • Tearing Chindia apart

    John Lee | 15 Dec 2010 | Business Spectator

    It was obvious that China and India in particular had coordinated strategies before the summit to scupper any binding agreement. Read More

  • Rudd deserves points for confronting some brutal truths

    John Lee | 06 Dec 2010 | Crikey

    The leaked conversation between Hillary Clinton and Kevin Rudd contradicts the perception that the former Australian prime minister was "soft" on China. Read More

  • Chinese want degrees, not democracy

    John Lee | 03 Dec 2010 | Wall Street Journal

    American values still have wide, if not universal, appeal. But we cannot ignore the apparent paradox that the young and urbane in China have become the strongest supporters of the Chinese Communist Party... Read More

  • What if the Chinese Bubble Bursts?

    John Lee | 01 Dec 2010 | The Interest

    If the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008 is any guide, we already know what Beijing will do in the event of a bursting of its bubble. Read More

  • U.S. envoy to ASEAN

    John Lee | 17 Nov 2010 | The Korea Herald

    A productive American relationship with ASEAN, particularly when it joins the East Asia Summit as a full member in 2011, is critical to stability in an increasingly tense region. Read More

  • In the Asian century, Washington must still offer leadership

    John Lee | 09 Nov 2010 | Crikey

    Tensions between the US and China should not present any fundamental dilemmas for Canberra since the capacity of Beijing to make Australia choose is quite weak. Read More

  • The end of the charm offensive

    John Lee | 26 Oct 2010 | Foreign Policy

    China's neighbours welcome a strong China, just not a dominant one -- and that's where the United States comes in. Read More

  • The stakes at the East Asia summit

    John Lee | 26 Oct 2010 | The Wall Street Journal Asia

    Beijing wants to ease America out of the region, but other nations want to entrench the U.S. role. Read More

  • China won't revalue the yuan

    John Lee | 24 Sep 2010 | Foreign Policy

    No amount of hectoring by Barack Obama is going to change the calculus of Chinese leaders. An undervalued currency may be critical to their very survival. Read More

  • The end of smile diplomacy?

    John Lee | 23 Sep 2010 | The National Interest

    Beneath the façade of unity in Chinese decision-making is the gradual but inexorable fragmentation in the formulation of regional strategy and the conduct of foreign policy itself. Read More

  • China-Japan tensions will rise

    John Lee | 22 Sep 2010 | Business Spectator

    Tension between China and Japan is structural, strategic and institutional – something that can only be managed rather than resolved. Read More

  • The resurrection of Kevin Rudd

    John Lee | 13 Sep 2010 | The Wall Street Journal

    The question now is whether Mr. Rudd has learned from his mistakes and will be a team player, or whether he plans to use his profile and foreign-policy experience to rebuild his leadership credentials... Read More

  • Don’t rush to back Beijing over Delhi

    John Lee | 13 Sep 2010 | The Australian

    While China's efficiency hides a brittleness, chaotic India's model is deceptively resilient. Read More

  • If only China were more like Japan

    John Lee | 01 Sep 2010 | Business Week

    China is heading toward a Japanese-style economic debacle and that the process won’t be as gradual or peaceful, says John Lee in Business Week, 1 September 2010. Read More

  • China's water grab

    John Lee | 24 Aug 2010 | Foreign Policy

    Forget the South China Sea. If America really cares about strengthening its presence in Asia, it’ll focus on the Mekong River instead, says John Lee in Foreign Policy, 24 August 2010. Read More

  • China's rise and the road to war

    John Lee | 05 Aug 2010 | The Wall Street Journal

    As with Germany a century ago, an emerging power is overestimating its capabilities, says  John Lee in The Wall Street Journal, 6 August 2010. Read More

  • Obama switching sides over China

    John Lee | 30 Jul 2010 | Weekly Standard

    There is renewed American preparedness to join with regional allies and partners in checking China’s ambition. Read More

  • Unpacking the black box

    John Lee | 30 Jul 2010 | Newsweek

    China’s dicey statistics tell us a lot, says John Lee in Newsweek, 30 July 2010. Read More

  • A way India can outshine China

    John Lee | 14 Jul 2010 | Business Spectator

    If India hosts a successful Commonwealth Games in October it will be a pleasant surprise for the region and help to further silence sceptics of India’s competence. Read More

  • The uncurious case of Xue Feng’s jail sentence

    John Lee | 08 Jul 2010 | Forbes

    The geologist and U.S. citizen was charged with stealing Chinese state secrets. A case of Deja Hu? Read More

  • Hardsell soft power

    John Lee | 02 Jul 2010 | The Hindustan Times

    China dedicates considerable more resources to building ‘soft’ power than India. Read More

  • India needs to flex its soft muscles

    John Lee | 29 Jun 2010 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    New Delhi would do well to learn lessons from Beijing about the importance of selling its strengths and achievements to the world, says Dr John Lee in The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 June 2010. Read More

  • PM Rudd’s demise signals more modest Australian foreign policy

    John Lee | 25 Jun 2010 | Inquirer

    Prime Minister Gillard’s diplomacy will be much more cautious compared to Kevin Rudd, says John Lee in the Straits Times , New Straits Times and Jakarta Post 25 June 2010. Read More

  • A well-timed currency kowtow

    John Lee | 21 Jun 2010 | The Wall Street Journal

    China's currency reform is meant to appease foreign politicians, not rebalance the domestic economy. Read More

  • China’s got a secret

    John Lee | 10 Jun 2010 | Foreign Policy

    China’s policy of concealment and fostering uncertainty are the main impediments to deepening its military-to-military ties with the United States. Read More

  • Opaqueness at heart of Chinese military’s U.S. strategy

    John Lee | 10 Jun 2010 | South China Morning Post

    Chinese reluctance to commit to meaningful high level military-to-military talks with America is not as much about Taiwan but a reluctance to show its perceived military weaknesses and creating ambiguity... Read More

  • Don't buy China's growth mirage

    John Lee | 24 May 2010 | Business Spectator

    Rural-to-urban migration is having less and less influence on the rising levels of fixed and asset investment activity occurring throughout China. Read More

  • EU not on China’s chessboard

    John Lee | 14 May 2010 | The Diplomat

    European nations are making a mistake courting China as to maintain relevance they need to align with the US. Read More

  • Authoritarian China won’t bow to US policy

    John Lee | 14 May 2010 | The Australian Financial Review

    Australia needs to rethink its special relationship with the US if it wants to be China’s friend. Read More

  • A bailout that hurts the Germans but doesn’t help the Greeks

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 05 May 2010 | Institute of Economic Affairs

    As long as countries such as Greece are joined with Germany in a monetary union, this monetary union will not work, argues Oliver Marc Hartwich for the Institute of Economic Affairs, 5 May 2010 Read More

  • What did Hu expect?

    John Lee | 30 Mar 2010 | Business Spectator

    Only the willfully stubborn or the ignorant will argue that Stern Hu’s admission of guilt on the charge of bribery means that concerns held about the Chinese economic legal and political environment... Read More

  • In dealing with Beijing, overambition tends to backfire

    John Lee | 26 Mar 2010 | The Australian

    Obama and Rudd are having more trouble with China than Bush and Howard. Read More

  • Inflated expectations of a rising yuan

    John Lee | 24 Mar 2010 | The Australian Financial Review

    Chinese inflation in theory can lift the currency, but don’t hold your breath. Read More

  • Why China is stepping on toes

    John Lee | 23 Mar 2010 | Business Spectator

    Foreign companies will be watching the outcome of the Stern Hu trail very carefully. Read More

  • Europe's China blindness

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 18 Mar 2010 | Business Spectator

    Europe’s relationship with China needs to move with the times. Read More

  • No more hope or glory for Britain

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 11 Mar 2010 | Business Spectator

    Britain needs to make tough decisions to reassure investors of its fiscal credibility. Read More

  • Rudd seeks redemption from Susilo’s visit

    John Lee | 10 Mar 2010 | New Straits Times

    Deepening the bilateral relationship between Jakarta and Canberra ought to be one of the first steps towards any regional ‘activism’ on Australia’s part. Read More

  • China between T-bills and a hard place

    John Lee | 03 Mar 2010 | The Australian Financial Review

    Despite Beijing’s addiction to US bonds, the proportion of US government debt financed by Chinese foreign exchange reserves has been falling significantly since 2008. Read More

  • Perception gap

    John Lee | 01 Mar 2010 | Time magazine

    American faith in the transformative power of China's economic rise might be misplaced. Read More

  • Paper tiger: China's no threat to the US

    John Lee | 01 Mar 2010 | Business Week

    Some Chinese leaders think Beijing can use its financial clout to punish the US, but  there's little reason for the White House to worry. Read More

  • Europe can’t afford weak leaders

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 25 Feb 2010 | Business Spectator

    Europe does not need politicians wishing to win beauty contests but leaders willing to tackle the manifold problems in the continent’s increasingly sclerotic, over-regulated and over-taxed economies. Read More

  • Army of well-paid advisers keep Pacific poor

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 22 Feb 2010 | The Australian

    Poorly targeted aid to the Pacific hinders rather than helps the region. Read More

  • Confronting Beijing’s new bipolar reality

    John Lee | 18 Feb 2010 | The Washington Times

    America’s attempts to ‘manage’ China’s rise are failing. Read More

  • Big trouble with big China

    John Lee | 04 Feb 2010 | Foreign Policy

    Relations between Washington and Beijing are looking more tense than ever. Read More

  • Why China won’t be a ‘responsible stakeholder’

    John Lee | 02 Feb 2010 | The Wall Street Journal

    The U.S.-China bilateral relationship is the most important one in the world. But the flaws in the relationship model constructed by Washington are becoming more apparent. Read More

  • China's new Silk Road geo-strategy in Asia

    John Lee | 29 Jan 2010 | Tehran Times

    China is seeking to change the geostrategic parameters of the existing game for influence in Asia. Read More

  • Why Rudd has overstayed his welcome in Asia

    John Lee | 16 Jan 2010 | The Spectator

    John Howard had far more gravitas and influence in Australasia than Kevin Rudd, who is starting to look like he doesn’t know how to respond to China’s rise in Asia. Read More

  • China’s next generation of leaders

    John Lee | 03 Jan 2010 | The Taipei Times

    The appointment of five provincial-level Chinese Communist Party chiefs in early December is a reminder that the ascension of China’s next generation of leaders, who will take power in 2012, may be the... Read More

  • China’s intransigence is a sign of its insecurity

    John Lee | 29 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    Recent events have convinced many observers that we are entering an unprecedented era marked by rising Chinese power and influence at the expense of the West. Read More

  • We aren't just larrikins

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 24 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    Too many Australians take for granted that they live in a prosperous and vibrant nation with a fantastic quality of life and is a good place in which to do business. Read More

  • China fears climate change openness

    John Lee | 23 Dec 2009 | The Guardian

    Beijing, which fears that external monitoring might reveal internal dysfunction, was backed into a corner by the United States at Copenhagen. Read More

  • Don’t overlook India’s consumer market for China’s

    John Lee | 22 Dec 2009 | BusinessWeek

    Urban consumers in India will likely drive more global business than their Chinese counterparts while India’s rural development far outpaces China’s. Read More

  • Chinese Urbanization Put on Hold

    John Lee | 19 Dec 2009 | The Korean Herald

    Beijing will gradually relax the hukou, or household registration system, to give rural Chinese citizens an opportunity to seek a better life in the city – not just speeding up the rate of poverty alleviation... Read More

  • For once it’s better to end with a whimper

    John Lee | 25 Nov 2009 | The Straits Times

    Washington pulls out all the stops for President Barack Obama's first state visitor: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the leader of the world's largest democracy. Read More

  • Boring summits are better for everyone

    John Lee | 24 Nov 2009 | Foreign Policy

    Barack Obama and Manmohan Singh should say as little as possible when they meet in Washington next week. Read More

  • Pacific angst

    John Lee | 11 Nov 2009 | Foreign Policy

    The very fact that America needs to negotiate with its Asian allies and partners – and sometimes even compromise – means that Washington will adapt in ways that allow it to remain the preferred security... Read More

  • China woos Africa – and not just for its resources

    John Lee | 09 Nov 2009 | Time magazine

    While much of the world still views Africa as a basket-case continent, Beijing is thinking ahead and busy establishing a foothold in Africa's potentially large consumer markets. Read More

  • Rudd fails to court New Delhi

    John Lee | 06 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    If Australia wants to remain an active, relevant and influential middle power in Asia, then spending the next half decade improving our bilateral relationship with countries such as India is much more... Read More

  • India Fast Becoming Asia's 'Swing State'

    John Lee | 04 Nov 2009 | The Korea Herald

    If India’s unpredictable political parties remain committed to continue reforms, and the bilateral partnership between Washington and New Delhi continue to deepen, a rising India (along with a still-dominant... Read More

  • China's potential enemy is US' good friend

    John Lee | 03 Nov 2009 | The New Straits Times

    If India’s unpredictable political parties remain committed to continue reforms, and the bilateral partnership between Washington and New Delhi continue to deepen, a rising India (along with a still-dominant... Read More

  • Beijing birthday spin distorts reality

    John Lee | 02 Oct 2009 | The Australian

    As the week-long celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of modern China roll on, the message coming out of Beijing is that China’s evolution into a confident, strong, just and prosperous... Read More

  • China’s statistical setback

    John Lee | 01 Oct 2009 | Forbes

    Although China has been decentralizing and officials have multiplied, it is not the building of institutions that encourages public accountability. Read More

  • The Party's Not Over: Why China's 60th birthday is nothing to celebrate

    John Lee | 28 Sep 2009 | Foreign Policy

    Inone important respect, authoritarian China is failing: while the Chinese state is rich and the party powerful, civil society is weak and the vast majority of people remain poor. Read More

  • Dynamics of difference

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 26 Sep 2009 | The Canberra Times

    Where once Australia was a European outpost in the South Pacific, our recent love affair with China suggests Europe may no longer be important to Australia. Read More

  • China's Ring of Power

    John Lee | 09 Sep 2009 | Foreign Policy

    While nobody was paying attention, Beijing was busy cornering the market on a little-known, but much coveted, strategic commodity. Read More

  • Why America will lead ‘Asian century’

    John Lee | 22 Aug 2009

    Not a week passes, it seems, without a big-picture thinker releasing a big-picture book or giving a big-picture sermon describing the gradual eclipse of American hegemony in Asia. True, American power... Read More

  • The region does not need the PM’s architecture

    John Lee | 18 Aug 2009 | The Australian

    Kevin Rudd has consistently lectured the region that some big-picture strategic thinking is needed in Asia. Read More

  • US is still a leading influence in the balance of power in Asia

    John Lee | 16 Aug 2009

    It seems that not a week goes by without a big-picture thinker releasing a big-picture book or giving a big-picture sermon describing the gradual eclipse of American hegemony in Asia. True, American power... Read More

  • Why the ‘China functionalists’ might win the battle but lose the war

    John Lee | 01 Aug 2009

    The US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue between Washington and Beijing has begun. Owing to the global financial crisis, the talks will have even more significance than usual. But when it comes to... Read More

  • Getting Asia's approval for an Indo-US partnership

    John Lee | 22 Jul 2009 | Opinion Asia

    On her first trip abroad as Secretary of State which was to Asia in March 2009, insiders in both New Delhi and Washington were privately critical when Hillary Clinton neglected to include India in her... Read More

  • China is not ready to lead the world

    John Lee | 18 Jul 2009 | Sydney Morning Herald

    In a speech given just before the 17th Chinese Communist Party Congress in 2007, Premier Wen Jiabao rebuked those agitating for political reform and told a domestic gathering of policymakers and intellectuals... Read More

  • Foreign Policy: Why Beijing Needs To Be Brutal

    John Lee | 06 Jul 2009 | Foreign Policy

    After scolding the West for interfering in the internal affairs of Iran, Beijing’s public relations department will now be on the defensive following riots in Urumqi, the capital of the westernmost region... Read More

  • China's Empty Land Reform

    John Lee | 04 Jul 2009 | Guardian

    Recently, Beijing announced new procedures to ‘give an effective guarantee’ to rural citizens that their land rights would be respected by ‘standardising’ arbitration procedures. This is explicit... Read More

  • The rural poor in India fare better than in China

    John Lee | 02 Jul 2009 | Wall Street Journal Asia

    China and India will likely defy the economic malaise in Western economies and grow at more than 7% this year. But that is where the comparison should end. Contrary to popular hype, India is actually outpacing... Read More

  • Don’t bridge this difference

    John Lee | 01 Jul 2009 | Active News

    Visitors invariably comment that China is shiny, orderly and clean while India is dusty, chaotic and dirty. In 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked what Mumbai could learn from Shanghai? Both these... Read More

  • Beijing's facade of resilience

    John Lee | 29 Jun 2009 | Asia Times

    Some analysts speculate that the turmoil caused by the global financial crisis presents an opportunity for the Chinese government to push ahead with fundamental economic reforms that will raise the importance... Read More

  • China’s Progress Looks Nothing like Singapore's

    John Lee | 29 Jun 2009

    Recent conversations with Chinese political scientists brought home the great extent to which Beijing is obsessed with watching, analysing, and replicating the success of Singapore. After all, despite... Read More

  • China no longer learns East Asian lessons

    John Lee | 23 Jun 2009 | The Korea Herald

    When the Nobel Prize-winning economist Kenneth Arrow was asked which country had the best managed economy recently, he nominated China, Taiwan and South Korea. This viewpoint is consistent with the widely... Read More

  • 20 years on from Tiananmen, political reform no closer

    John Lee | 04 Jun 2009 | ABC News

    With the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen protests today, many would have thought that conditions are better now for political reform in China than ever. Yet, no one in the still bustling shopping... Read More

  • Democracy's long march to China

    John Lee | 03 Jun 2009 | The Australian

    Last month, actor Jackie Chan created uproar around the world when he told a gathering in Hainan province that China didn’t need democracy because Chinese people needed to be controlled. With the twentieth... Read More

  • PM Rudd still needing strategy lessons from Asian allies

    John Lee | 31 May 2009 | Opinion Asia

    This weekend, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was given the honour of delivering the keynote at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue meeting in Singapore. Maybe it was a peace offering of sorts since PM... Read More

  • Indians vote to become ‘swing state’ in Asia

    John Lee | 18 May 2009 | Washington Times

    Current leader Manmohan Singh will become only the second Indian prime minister to win reelection after serving a full five year term. Even though the election was fought primarily on domestic issues,... Read More

  • Indians vote to become ‘swing state’ in Asia

    John Lee | 18 May 2009

    Current leader Manmohan Singh will become only the second Indian prime minister to win reelection after serving a full five year term. Even though the election was fought primarily on domestic issues,... Read More

  • Law forcing Chinese to smoke indicates deeper problem

    John Lee | 15 May 2009

    The farce and corruption of many local officials in China is held in check only by the decency and common sense of ordinary Chinese citizens. In March, officials in Gong’an country in China’s Hubei... Read More

  • Australia is in a bind about China

    John Lee | 07 May 2009 | Media Daum

    Ever since China's great reformer, Deng Xiaoping, instructed Chinese leaders to "hide brightness, nourish obscurity," the region has been playing a guessing game trying to decipher Beijing's longer-term... Read More

  • Australia in a bind deciphering China's future intentions

    John Lee | 06 May 2009 | The China Post

    Ever since China’s great reformer, Deng Xiaoping, instructed Chinese leaders to ‘Hide Brightness, nourish obscurity’, the world has been playing a guessing game in trying to decipher Beijing’s... Read More

  • Now it’s China’s Turn to Learn from India

    | 02 May 2009 | Opinion Asia

    In terms of growth, the two bright spots in the global economy also happen to be the two most populous countries: China and India will likely grow at more than 6 percent in 2009. But that is where the... Read More

  • The Waning Challenge of the ‘Authoritarian Capitalists’

    John Lee | 29 Apr 2009 | The Diplomat

    Capitalist authoritarian states with their booming economies will be pitted against liberal-democratic counterparts. But the current economic crisis has already led to the waning of confidence of capitalist... Read More

  • China’s much lauded ‘charm offensive’ is hitting a wall

    John Lee | 04 Apr 2009 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Chinese soft power – the ability to get what it wants through persuasion and attraction rather than using the age old approach of carrots and sticks – has a long way to go, especially in Australia.... Read More

  • China’s much lauded ‘charm offensive’ is hitting a wall

    John Lee | 04 Apr 2009 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Chinese soft power – the ability to get what it wants through persuasion and attraction rather than using the age old approach of carrots and sticks – has a long way to go, especially in Australia.... Read More

  • In Pakistan, the sores of partition are still raw

    Visiting Fellow - Tanveer Ahmed | 05 Mar 2009 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Spend some time at any Australian university and you will see Indians, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans mixing freely. Clubs such the Desi Indian Students' Society show the ties that bind – cricket, curry... Read More

  • Foreign interest is all win for Australia

    Stephen Kirchner | 04 Mar 2009 | The Australian

    The debate over the proposed increase in Chinalco’s stake in Rio Tinto has once again highlighted concerns about the role of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the Australian resources... Read More

  • India should have been on Clinton’s Asia itinerary

    John Lee | 03 Mar 2009 | Opinion Asia

    There is excitement throughout Asia over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s choice of the continent for her maiden international voyage in her capacity as America’s top diplomat, bypassing the more... Read More

  • Hilary Clinton’s India snub could be a mistake

    John Lee | 02 Mar 2009 | Opinion Asia

    There is excitement throughout Asia over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s choice of the continent for her maiden international voyage in her capacity as America’s top diplomat, bypassing the more... Read More

  • Allies wary of focus on China

    John Lee | 14 Feb 2009 | The Straits Times

    Secretary Clinton needs to bring America’s allies with her and not move ahead of them. Read More

  • Why China fears Obama: The danger of an attractive America

    John Lee | 02 Feb 2009 | The New York Times

    The enthusiasm with which Obama’s election was received in Europe will not be replicated in China. Read More

  • Over-governed China is the worst governed

    John Lee | 28 Jan 2009 | New Straits Times

    China may have one official for every 35 people but this does not mean that it is building institutions that encourage public accountability. Read More

  • China needs a new way

    John Lee | 27 Jan 2009 | The Australian

    The Year of the Ox will bring little prosperity for the Chinese people. Read More

  • The Year of the Ox will bring little prosperity for the Chinese

    John Lee | 25 Jan 2009 | The Times

    Beijing's “authoritarian capitalist” model has gone as far as it can. Chaos, corruption and indecision have been ignored. Read More

  • Double-edged sword in Obama’s use of technology

    John Lee | 20 Jan 2009 | Online Opinion

    The reliance on social networking technology will leave Obama vulnerable in 2012. Read More

  • How China bought its graduates' loyalty

    John Lee | 08 Dec 2008 | The Guardian

    Attend a dinner party with a random sample of China’s 5 million university graduates each year and in many respects they will be virtually indistinguishable from counterparts in Britain. Chinese graduates... Read More

  • Why Obama must look to the Pacific before the Atlantic

    John Lee | 19 Nov 2008 | Opinion Asia

    It is significant that the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States was greeted most warmly by Europeans. The Democrats tend to be the party of the Atlantic and the Republicans the party... Read More

  • Beijing’s stimulus may not help its struggling consumption donkey

    John Lee | 15 Nov 2008 | International business time

    China likes to think big. It has the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and now a mind-boggling US$600 billion economic stimulus package. This is the latest response by an increasingly anxious government in... Read More

  • Should Australia moderate between the US and China?

    John Lee | 13 Nov 2008 | Online Opinion

    Ever since the election of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, editorials in China’s state-sponsored media have been increasingly pushing the line that Australia should play the role of a ‘bridge’ between... Read More

  • Land reforms fall short for China farmers

    John Lee | 13 Nov 2008 | The Standard

    With America and Europe facing the likely prospect of deep recession, Asia is looking to China’s potentially huge consumer market as its savior. This is why many are applauding Beijing’s proposed rural... Read More

  • Why China wants to win

    John Lee | 13 Nov 2008 | The New York Time

    Sending a man to the moon was once old news, but not anymore. A space race is occurring between Asia's giants - China, India, Japan and even South Korea - and China desperately wants to win. For the Chinese,... Read More

  • Why McCain will be a better ally for Malaysia

    John Lee | 04 Nov 2008 | New straits Times

    The common wisdom is that a Barack Obama presidency will be better news for Malaysia and Southeast Asia than a John McCain presidency. After all, Obama fondly recalls the four formative years he spent... Read More

  • Why McCain will be a better ally for Malaysia

    John Lee | 03 Nov 2008 | New straits Times

    The common wisdom is that a Barack Obama presidency will be better news for Indonesia and Southeast Asia than a John McCain presidency. After all, Obama fondly recalls the four formative years he spent... Read More

  • Plight of Chinese peasants could worsen

    John Lee | 25 Oct 2008 | The Strait Times

    With the current financial crisis spreading throughout the world, most economists believe more than ever that global economic growth would be much more balanced if consumption levels in Asia rise. Read More

  • State government gravy train is on the wrong track

    Gaurav Sodhi | 07 Oct 2008 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    There are lots of people scratching their heads trying to understand how publicly listed companies owned by savvy shareholders, could allow managers to take their money, use it recklessly, then pay themselves... Read More

  • Tainted Milk Is Part Of A Bigger Problem For Chinese Civil Society

    John Lee | 25 Sep 2008 | The Australian

    The tainted milk scandal in China – with four deaths and 54,000 children ill and rising – exposes a glaring contradiction about Chinese civil society: despite having more public officials per capita... Read More

  • The Pacific has two different faces

    Gaurav Sodhi | 11 Sep 2008 | The Fiji Times

    The new guest worker scheme announced by the Australian Government on Monday is being billed by many Pacific governments, aid organisations and the World Bank as a development policy to displace the demonstrable... Read More

  • Pacific guests invited over our unemployed

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 21 Aug 2008 | The Newcastle Herald

    The announcement that Australia is inaugurating a 'guest worker' scheme for Pacific islanders to pick fruit in Australia will earn Prime Minister Rudd a warm welcome at the Pacific Island Forum meeting... Read More

  • The Pacific is a crime bomb and needs economic reform

    Gaurav Sodhi | 21 Aug 2008 | The Australian

    The new ‘guest worker’ scheme is being billed by many Pacific governments, aid organisations and The World Bank as a development policy to displace the demonstrable failure of aid.  Will it be enough... Read More

  • Migration scheme won’t solve Pacific’s problems

    Gaurav Sodhi | 21 Aug 2008 | ABC News Online

    It wouldn’t be polite to say so at the Forum meeting in Nuie this week, but there is trouble brewing in the South Pacific.  Conflict in the Solomon Islands, coups in Fiji, murders by raskol gangs in... Read More

  • Good policy better than guest work for neighbours

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 21 Aug 2008 | The Canberra Times

    The announcement that Australia is inaugurating a ‘guest worker’ scheme for Pacific islanders to pick fruit in Australia will earn Prime Minister Rudd a warm welcome at the Pacific Island Forum meeting... Read More

  • Blighty-style re-education

    Peter Saunders | 16 Aug 2008 | The Weekend Australian

    Arriving at Heathrow after nine years living in Australia, we dug out our British passports and joined our fellow German, Italian, Spanish and Irish Euro-citizens in the European Union queue at passport... Read More

  • Defend the individual and so the West

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali | 04 Aug 2008 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Thinkers of the Enlightenment, a set of new intellectual attitudes that remade Western culture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, set out to understand the world and themselves through reason... Read More

  • Happy Anniversary RAMSI

    Gaurav Sodhi | 24 Jul 2008 | ABC News Online

    Five years ago today, Australia embarked on one of its most ambitious foreign policy exercises in recent years when it led the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands.  RAMSI, comprising of... Read More

  • EU’s Disdain for Voters

    Peter Saunders | 16 Jul 2008 | The Australian

    Whenever voters reject a proposal put forward by Europe’s political elite, they either get ignored, or they are told to vote again until they get it right – just like in Zimbabwe’s democracy. Read More

  • The Myth of OPEC

    Gaurav Sodhi | 24 Jun 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    OPEC has long been considered an economic boogey man terrorizing economies all over the world. When politicians fret that oil prices are rising too high too fast, it is OPEC that they run to for relief.... Read More

  • Why China’s loyal youth no longer want democracy

    John Lee | 31 May 2008 | The Weekend Australian

    In the last two decades, China’s economy has tripled in size. The numbers of young, relatively affluent people (15–25 years) number around 17–20 million, almost the size of Australia’s population.... Read More

  • ‘China’s unbalanced economy providing silver lining

    John Lee | 30 May 2008 | The Age

    Chinese leaders and economists have been saying for a decade that its economy is pulled by two strong horses and one weak donkey. China is much too reliant on unsustainably high levels of (inefficient)... Read More

  • Democracy’s slowboat to China getting slower

    John Lee | 28 May 2008 | The Canberra Times

    Figures released suggest that in early 2009, there will be over 200 million Internet users in China which will be more than in the US. It is not just about the numbers of Chinese going online. Everything... Read More

  • Bachelors wreaking havoc in China

    John Lee | 28 May 2008 | The Courier Mail

    China’s leaders seem to be good at fixing big problems. They have transformed a backward economy into perhaps the most dynamic one in the world. More recently, their response to the earthquake in Sichuan... Read More

  • Why RAMSI should stay

    Gaurav Sodhi | 20 Apr 2008

    Now into its fifth year and with no exit strategy in sight, questions are beginning to be asked about the future of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Should... Read More

  • A rotting core: the other side of China’s miracle

    John Lee | 12 Mar 2008 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Ask many Chinese parents (like mine) anywhere in the world what they wanted their kids to be when they grow up and the chances are that they will say a ‘doctor’ – the medical kind of course rather... Read More

  • Competition and free trade key to prosperity

    Maria Rankka | 11 Mar 2008 | The Australian

    The Swedish economy has often been compared with a bumblebee, whose ability to fly can only be explained by its ignorance of aerodynamics and physics. Proponents of the Swedish model claim Sweden is proof... Read More

  • Tibetan monks fuelling Beijing's paranoia

    John Lee | 10 Mar 2008 | The Australian

    When the monks in Burma led protests against the military junta last September, China initially reacted by making the usual call for ‘calm’ and ‘restraint’ from all sides. As those protests escalated... Read More

  • Solomon Islands - resurrected but not reformed

    Gaurav Sodhi | 04 Feb 2008 | Online Opinion

    When the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands was launched in 2003, it marked a turning point for Australia's relationship with the Pacific islands. After years of trying to assist development... Read More

  • Tough love key to Nauru's future

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 22 Jan 2008 | The Australian

    The Rudd Government has an unparalleled opportunity to make a contribution to the evolution of real solutions for small Pacific islands by removing the asylum seekers facility that delivers 20% of Nauru’s... Read More

  • Solomons Islands: Resurrected, not reformed

    Gaurav Sodhi | 15 Jan 2008 | Islands Business Magazine

    The Solomon Islands are today one of the poorest and least developed countries in the South Pacific. The islands are richly endowed with volcanic soils, marine resources, timber and minerals and well located... Read More

  • A contrarian view of the economic miracle

    Sheila Melvin | 22 Oct 2007 | South China Morning Post

    In Will China Fail? The Limits and Contradictions of Market Socialism, author John Lee takes on the growing parade of China experts who offer optimistic scenarios for the nation’s ‘peaceful rise’... Read More

  • International attention has been scathing of Papua New Guinea

    Gaurav Sodhi | 10 Sep 2007 | The Canberra Times

    International attention has been scathing of Papua New Guinea after revelations some HIV/AIDS victims have been buried alive by relatives unable or too afraid to care for them. The National Aids Council... Read More

  • Elections should be a way of holding political leaders to account for their actions

    Gaurav Sodhi | 29 Aug 2007 | The Canberrra Times

    It is a measure of the dysfunction of Papua New Guinea that elections marred by disenfranchised voters, fraud, criminal MPs and violence could still be reliably labelled as successful by the government... Read More

  • Is Asia in need of Australian aid more than the Pacific?

    Gaurav Sodhi | 31 May 2007 | The Canberra Times

    Eyebrows were raised in the Pacific this month as Indonesia displaced Papua New Guinea as the largest recipient of Australian aid in this year's federal budget. East Asia, with its hundreds of millions... Read More

  • All shoulders to the wheel

    Gaurav Sodhi | 15 Apr 2007 | The Courier Mail

    A visitor to Chimbu Province in Papua New Guinea would have watched in stunned surprise last month, as thousands of villagers picked up their farming tools to build a feeder road to link their communities... Read More

  • Japan caught in US-Korea nuclear net

    | 15 Feb 2007 | The Australian

    The deal struck in Beijing this week, which is supposed to end up in the denuclearisation of North Korea, is no cause for celebration. To the contrary, it is likely to detract from Australia's security. Read More

  • Why China first wooed then jilted Kiribati

    Susan Windybank | 29 Jan 2007 | The Canberra Times

    The news that a Chinese missile shot down an old satellite has made headlines around the world. The successful strike confirms that China is well on the way to developing a space-warfare capability. Less... Read More

  • Seasonal migration is not a solution

    Gaurav Sodhi | 08 Sep 2006 | The Canberra Times

    The World Bank recently joined a growing list of organisations putting pressure on the Government to open its doors to unskilled guest workers for fruit picking and processing. Read More

  • The real priorities

    Bjorn Lomborg | 08 Aug 2006 | The Australian

    A Mayor has a $10million surplus, which he wants to allocate to a good cause. Ten groups clamour for the cash. One wants to buy new computers for an inner-city high school. Another hopes to beautify a... Read More

  • Vanutatu’s failures propped up again

    Gaurav Sodhi | 07 Apr 2006 | The Dominion Post

    Vanuatu is no stranger to aid. Since independence in 1980 the Pacific island country has received more than $2 billion in assistance. Indeed, when it comes to finding appropriate aid programs, few appropriate... Read More

  • US aid group throws Vanuatu's privileged political elite a lifeline

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 07 Mar 2006 | The Canberra Times

    Vanuatu (population 200,000) has been generously supported by aid in cash and technical assistance since its independence in 1980 by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development... Read More

  • Finding ways to tame the new giant

    | 03 Jan 2006 | The Australian Financial Review

    The main element driving security development in North Asia is the rapid pace of China 's strategic force modernisation. This is increasing insecurity in Japan and Taiwan , with unpredictable consequences.... Read More

  • US should reconsider financial aid for Vanuatu

    Susan Windybank | 08 Dec 2005 | The Australian Financial Review

    Vanuatu is among a select group of countries eligible for hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance through the millennium challenge account (MCA) in 2006. The MCA is a United States government aid... Read More

  • Pacific aid policy must indeed be based on facts

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 11 Aug 2005 | The Canberra Times

    Australia is the leading aid donor in the Pacific, taking its responsibility to its neighbours seriously. Three years ago The Centre for Independent Studies focussed attention on the Pacific because, in... Read More

  • Nose cut off to spite the face

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 31 May 2005 | The Courier Mail

    The withdrawal of the Australian police, following the Papua New Guinean Supreme Court ruling that the immunity essential to their operations was unconstitutional, is a disaster for the people of Papua... Read More

  • High price for a bruised ego

    | 26 Apr 2005 | The Australian Financial Review

    For the second time in little more than a year the Papua New Guinean Prime Minister, Michael Somare, has found a pretext to thwart Australia's five-year $800 million Enhanced Co-operation Program. Read More

  • Action needed on al-Qa'ida's hiding place

    Miranda Darling Tobias | 17 Jan 2005 | The Australian

    The devastation in Asia caused by the tsunami has understandably overshadowed the horrors being perpetrated by the Janjaweed militia in Darfur and the equally shameful failure of the Sudanese Government... Read More

  • Only harsh medicine can save Nauru

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 31 Aug 2004 | The Courier Mail

    Nauru is an isolated 21 sq km Pacific island, more than 3,500 kms from Brisbane. In 1963, while still administered by Australia, it gained the world price for its phosphate, giving it one of the highest... Read More

  • Only internal reform can rescue a stagnant PNG

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 15 Jul 2004 | The Canberra Times

    Papua New Guinea's GDP growth, with good weather and high mineral export prices, is still only barely above population growth, so that living standards continue to stagnate. Mineral and timber exports... Read More

  • Germans bogged down in Red-Green quagmire

    Wolfgang Kasper | 12 Jul 2004 | The Australian Financial Review

    Australians, who are confused by the challenges of globalisation, innovation, ageing and the need to reform economic and political institutions, can learn a lot by looking at present-day Germany where... Read More

  • Expect fallout here as our neighbour falls apart

    Susan Windybank | 12 Mar 2003 | The Australian

    With the impending war on Iraq and growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula understandably dominating media headlines, economic decline and government collapse in Australia's closest and largest neighbour,... Read More

  • We must dance with the devil

    Owen Harries | 29 Oct 2002 | The Australian

    IN the wake of the Bali bombing, it is imperative that we think clearly and, if necessary, coldly, about what the national interest requires with respect to Indonesia. Read More

  • Lucky country for sale

    Wolfgang Kasper | 16 Aug 2002 | The Courier Mail

    The Australian government has stepped up immigration and we continue our generous intake of genuine refugees. Both is in the national interest. Yet, public opinion has turned sceptical about mass immigration... Read More

  • PNG in need for much more than money

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 14 Aug 2002 | The Australian Financial Review

    Papua New Guinea has become a dysfunctional state.  Per capita income is falling, public services are non existent and robbery, rape and murder occur every day.  A least thirty people were killed during... Read More

  • Third World aid: is it part of the solution or the problem?

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 11 May 2002 | The Australian Financial Review

    Heads of government and ministers met at the United Nations headquarters in New York during the week to try to answer the question. Helen Hughes, a senior fellow at the Centre of Independent Studies, argues... Read More

  • Turning on axis distorts aim: The US should exercise restraint and prudence in its mission against the evils of terrorism

    Owen Harries | 04 Apr 2002 | The Australian

    As far as American foreign policy is concerned, there have been, and still are, two very different traditions existing alongside each other: realism and American exceptionalism. Read More

  • Be a realist, not a lap dog: A cooling off period will improve ties with indonesia

    Owen Harries | 04 Mar 2002 | The Australian

    Ours is an age that believes in action. Faced with a problem, virtually any problem, the demand is that someone—and these days it is invariably the state—should act immediately. Action is evidence... Read More

  • A reminder of darker times

    A. Hamlin, James Q. Wilson, Jeremy Shearmur, L.J. Hulme and Neil McInnes | 14 Sep 2001 | The Daily Telegraph

    It has been said that those who lack the imagination of disaster are doomed to be surprised by the world. Many people have been so surprised by the awful happenings of this week, brought home to us –... Read More

  • Time to reconsider our US ties

    Owen Harries | 10 Sep 2001 | The Australian Financial Review

    You win one, you lose one. Immediately after coming out of the Tampa affair well ahead politically, John Howard found that the main purpose of his trip to Washington - the negotiation of an agreement on... Read More

  • Gulliver Unbound: Can American Rule of World?

    Joseph Joffe | 30 Nov -0001 | OP85

    In this lecture, Josef Joffe asks if the US can sustain this position of power in international politics. World history suggests no, as power always begets counter power, with signs of the US dominance... Read More