Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Associate Papers

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.

Narendra Modi, Akhand Bharat and “Greater India”

3 November 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Rather than physical expansion, India is actually working towards enhancing its commercial and financial strategies, with the overall focus being the Indian economy. As such, Akhand Bharat is an internal policy of the Modi Government to motivate Indians into realising their nationalistic responsibilities for progressing India’s economy, while “Greater India” is an external policy to re-develop the influence of Hindu culture, also with the aim of enhancing economic benefits for India.

Too Many Eggs in the Dragon’s Basket? Part One: Australia’s Reliance on Exports to China

China is manifestly Australia’s principal two-way trading partner. Australian exports of goods and services to China were worth $153 billion and constituted 32.6 per cent of all exports. Over the past six months, the Chinese Government has either denied, or given indication of restricting, a range of Australian exports, including barley, meat, wine, cotton and services. Given that alternative or substitute markets either do not exist, or take time and market development to form, a strategic reappraisal of Australia’s export base is required.

State of Play: India’s Gulf Relations Amid Shifting Regional Ties

15 October 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

India has solid bilateral relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, both of which have normalised their relations with Israel, and with Israel itself, aided by the shared right-wing political values of Prime Ministers Modi and Netanyahu. India’s juggling of those relationships and those with Iran and the United States, constitutes skilful relationship management.

Dishing the Dirt: Australia’s Move to Store Carbon in Soil is a Problem for Tackling Climate Change

To slow climate change, humanity has two main options: reduce greenhouse gas emissions directly or find ways to remove them from the atmosphere. Storing carbon in soil is often touted as a promising way to offset greenhouse gas emissions. There is, however, a catch. This Paper offers a critique of this strategy and finds that to be effective, emissions technology in Australia should focus on improving energy efficiency in industry, the residential sector and transport, where big gains are to be made.

Decoding Chinese Strategic Intent in the Standoff at the Line of Actual Control

29 September 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Sino-Indian military posturing and muscle-flexing continues in the eastern Ladakh region. Alongside diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India should insist on the proper delimitation and demarcation of the LAC, pending a permanent settlement of the border, while also firmly holding its ground in any prolonged standoff through the approaching winter.

Sri Lanka’s Dependence on China Adds to India’s Security Dilemma

22 September 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The return of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lankan Prime Minister will likely attract further Chinese investments and loans to the country, but has caused concern in New Delhi about Colombo’s further inclination towards Beijing. India, with its sluggish economic growth and limited financial capacity to lure Sri Lanka away from China, must instead continue to support Sri Lanka in such matters as housing projects, education, health, transportation systems, small and medium business development and training.

Indonesia-India Maritime Defence Relations: Time for a More Robust Partnership

10 September 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean, Indonesia

Indonesia, and to a lesser extent India, have jurisdiction over the major maritime choke points of the Malacca Strait, the Six-Degree Channel and the Sunda Strait, through all of which large volumes of maritime trade pass. Both have been made uneasy by China’s expansionist maritime activities and its ambivalence towards international law. As custodians of vital maritime choke points, India and Indonesia have a duty to ensure that the rules-based order is maintained in those waters.

Modi and Erdogan: Birds of a Feather – From Opposite Sides of a Religious Divide

11 August 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have much in common despite their different religious backgrounds. Both are leaders of constitutionally secular states, yet both have adopted an agenda of majoritarianism, underpinned by a commitment to nationalist political views in a rejection of the ideals espoused by the founders of modern Turkey and India.

What is Regenerative Agriculture? Declan McDonald

Soil scientist Declan McDonald has hosted a series of eight short videos articulating the key principles of Regenerative Agriculture. Topics covered include introducing regenerative agriculture, minimising soil disturbance, maximising crop diversity, keeping soil covered, maintaining living roots systems year-round, integrating livestock and trees, and how farmers can transition to regenerative agriculture.

Pakistan under the China Model of Governance

4 August 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Many Pakistanis perceive an agonising drift from democracy in their country and are gradually awakening to the reality that the China model of rule – reduced opposition, controlled society and structured consent – is becoming the norm in their country. The Pakistani media and judiciary are victims of that trend.

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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