Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is critical to global trade and food and energy security. Resources increasingly are being exploited by its littoral and island states. It is also a stage for the pursuit of global strategic and regional military and security interests.

The G7’s Alternative to China’s BRI

While the G7’s “Build Back Better World” (B3W) offers an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, it remains a nascent proposition that may not suit every government, especially not the more authoritarian ones.

The Challenges to China’s National Rejuvenation – Part Three: The Lure and Threat of Central Asia

China’s deteriorating international relationships could see countries work with the United States to curb China’s ability to use the South China Sea, or provide basing and logistical support to the US, or both, leaving China prevented from importing its sea-borne energy requirements and exporting its manufactured goods. Beijing, therefore, needs to be able to access its energy sources from Turkmenistan and Iran via overland routes that run through Central Asia, and to export its manufactured goods along them. Those routes need to be securitised, however, requiring China to extend its influence over Central Asia. That objective could encounter some severe challenges.

Doklam Continued: India’s Renewed Focus on China

While India’s decision to move around 50,000 troops to its border with China stands to reason, much more needs to be done economically and politically.

Arsenic and the Ganges Delta: Water Crisis in Bangladesh

In the face of a water crisis started by arsenic poisoning of groundwater and further compounded by climate change-induced salinity, the Bangladeshi Government will need to act swiftly to prevent a future surge of climate refugees.

The United Kingdom’s Integrated Review: Implications for the Indo-Pacific

24 June 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The British Government recently released its long-awaited and highly-anticipated Integrated Review. The review sets out the government’s vision for a “Global Britain”, as well as the UK’s international role following its withdrawal from the European Union. Although no longer a superpower, the UK remains a significant global actor, with an internal security architecture that maintains a global reach.

Spy Games: The Rumour of a Chinese Defection

Amid claim and counter-claim, China could easily settle the matter by producing Dong Jingwei, the Vice-Minister of State Security, in public.

Indonesia Free Trade Agreement a Possibility as Canada Looks to the Indo-Pacific

For Canadian exporters and service providers, ICA-CEPA presents an opportunity to expand into a youthful, growing and technologically-aware market that is also the largest economy in South-East Asia. It will also complement the rising awareness in Canada of the increasing strategic and economic importance of the Indo-Pacific.

Pakistan-US Relations and the Geopolitics of South Asia

While officials in the Biden Administration have emphasised that Pakistan is important to US foreign policy, especially in the context of achieving the withdrawal of the remaining US troops in Afghanistan, many believe that the White House should have been more pro-active in its engagement with Pakistan. For Islamabad, having drawn closer to Beijing, striking a balance between its relationships with the US and China has become more difficult and the US-Pakistan relationship will be greatly influenced by the Beijing-Washington nexus.

New Caledonia Independence: Paris Preparing for Close Result in December

While France has undertaken to work with both sides and to respect the outcome of the vote, if this year’s referendum results in a “yes” to New Caledonian independence, the loss of territory and influence will not be welcomed. For partners such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States, a potentially reduced French presence in the south-west Pacific at a time of growing Chinese influence in the region is likely to be viewed with some concern.

ASEAN, India and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Unlike when it first struck a year ago, the recent Covid-19 wave has affected several ASEAN countries severely. While the absolute numbers of fatalities are not high in countries other than Thailand and Malaysia due to strict restrictions having been imposed, the slow rate of inoculation remains a concern.

Publication Guide

  • Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

  • Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

  • Normally issued in hardcopy, these represent a comprehensive study of one of FDI’s four research areas.

  • Strategic alerts are priority current intelligence items. We provide these alerts when events such as military deployments or foreign election results occur.

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

  • A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

  • A record of discussions resulting from a single, or series of, roundtable conferences.

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