‘Things aren’t going back’: Australia braces for step-up in China’s Pacific push

The Australian government is bracing for China to step up its push to expand influence in the Pacific, with a senior figure privately conceding Canberra has a lot of work to do to regain lost trust and strengthen regional unity. Despite initial relief at a decision by Pacific island countries to defer a sweeping 10-country security and economic pact proposed by China, the Australian government now believes this may be only a temporary reprieve. “Things aren’t going back to the way they were,” said a senior Australian government figure who…

Shanghai reports no new Covid cases for first time since March

China has reported no new Covid-19 infections in Shanghai for the first time since March, as the country’s latest outbreak subsides after months of lockdowns and other restrictions. China is the last major economy committed to a zero-Covid strategy, stamping out all infections with a combination of targeted lockdowns, mass testing and long quarantine periods. The economic hub of Shanghai was forced into a months-long lockdown during a Covid surge this spring driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. Beijing also shuttered schools and offices for weeks over a separate outbreak.…

Our global food supply is at risk when high gas prices limit the creation of fertiliser | Andrew Whitelaw

If water is the source of life, fertiliser is the source of scaleable food production. The increasing cost of fertiliser is one of the largest contributors to a “cost-price” squeeze affecting the farmers of major agricultural products in Australia and globally. The cost of food is increasing in step with the cost of producing that food and, in the past quarter in Australia, we have seen food inflation increase by 2.8% – the fourth-highest quarter since the turn of the century. The price of wheat, the main staple for much…

Understanding China’s Military Operations Other Than War

understanding chinas military operations other than war

Advertisement The announcement from Beijing recently about signing an order with trial outlines on military operations other than war (MOOTW) has triggered foreboding in some quarters that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may be taking a leaf out of the Russian military playbook, inspired by Moscow’s so-called “special military operations” in reference to its invasion of Ukraine. More ominously, some see the new order as a precursor to an impending Taiwan crisis. Coming so soon after the Chinese defense minister, General Wei Fenghe, had vowed at the Shangri-La Dialogue…

China’s ‘Fragmented Authoritarianism’ During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Advertisement In early June, when the local authorities of Shanghai lifted its three-month-long lockdown, the central government soon announced its own approach toward the zero COVID-19 goal: conducting mass PCR testing nationwide, alongside some economic stimulus. In practice, this policy requests every resident to take PCR tests regularly and frequently in exchange for relatively moderate measures in dealing with a local outbreak. However, the skeptics point out that based on China’s political system of fragmented authoritarianism, such a gigantic health project would be untenable. Local governments, facing economic strain, usually cope…

Falling out of Favor: How China Lost the Nordic Countries

falling out of favor how china lost the nordic countries

Advertisement Five years ago, the Nordic countries (this article will focus on Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) were still eagerly pushing for closer ties with China. Each of the Nordic countries held frequent high-level meetings with Beijing, signed new Memorandums of Understanding to expand bilateral cooperation, competed with each other to attract Chinese investments, and welcomed Chinese-led multilateral initiatives such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as well as China’s growing involvement in the Arctic. In the past few years, however, perceptions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)…

Chinese premier calls for more coal production as electricity demand soars

China’s premier has called for increased production of coal to stave off mass blackouts, as early summer heatwaves have prompted record electricity usage. On Friday authorities again issued high temperature warnings for about a dozen provinces across the central and northern provinces, after consecutive days in the high 30s. As people sought to escape the heat this week, state media reported that electricity demand was up 8.8% in north-west China compared with last year, and 3.2% in northern China, citing the State Grid Corp of China. Records for maximum electricity…

‘Considerable strain’: how Australian officials saw the China rift

Australian officials stayed in “regular contact” with the Chinese embassy in Canberra to “explain our decisions” even when Australian ministers were subjected to a two-year diplomatic freeze, newly released documents show. The former Morrison government had been “willing to engage with China in dialogue at any time”, according to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade briefing notes, which also described the relationship as being under “considerable strain”. Australian government ministers were blocked from meetings or calls with their direct Chinese counterparts for more than two years, although lower-level diplomats and…

Page 1 of 197
1 2 3 4 5 6 197