It was the diplomatic equivalent of a food fight. At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, held last week in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG), the United States and China traded barely-veiled barbs and their growing rivalry prevented agreement on a final communique for the first time since the organization’s founding nearly 30 years ago.
Many equate these results with failure. But the forum accurately reflects the region’s evolving geostrategic dynamics. Importantly, the gathering provided a platform on which those dynamics could unfold peaceably, if contentiously – which is exactly what APEC should be doing. And, also true to APEC’s intent, it allowed for the advancement of the interests of smaller players while they tried to navigate the dilemma of great power competition.… Seguir leyendo »
Malcolm Turnbull’s ouster as Australian prime minister had long been a matter of when, not if.
And, in what has become the new normal in Australian politics, his departure marks the fourth Australian prime minister in a row given the boot by their own party colleagues prior to completion of a full term: Kevin Rudd (in 2010), Julia Gillard (2013), Tony Abbott (2015), and now Turnbull. Few will be surprised if the current incumbent, Scott Morrison, is similarly dismissed before too long.
This political turmoil – reflective of deep internal divisions within the Liberal and Labor parties and the slim, fractious parliamentary majorities they have been able to muster once in power – has had a serious impact on Australia’s international presence and leadership.… Seguir leyendo »
With the release of the US National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy, the Trump administration has foreshadowed a much more confrontational relationship with China. But US allies and friends question how well the Trump administration rhetoric relates to strategic reality.
Net result? So far, advantage China.
The rhetoric is clear. The National Security Strategy describes China as a ‘revisionist power’ that aims ‘to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests’, ‘displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific region’, ‘reorder the region in its favor’, ‘expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model’, and ‘steal US intellectual property’.
The National Defense Strategy (NDS) reiterates the ‘central challenge’ to US interests as strategic competition with revisionist powers, with China at the top of the list.… Seguir leyendo »