South China Sea: makings of a new cold war?

By K B Teo*

Synopsis

Tensions in the South China Sea (SCS) have somewhat abated but the latent flashpoint remains. In mid-October 2018, a near collision took place between an American and Chinese warship. The US has attacked Beijing’s expansionism. In September 2018, Japan conducted its first-ever submarine drills in the waters. If the dispute escalates, ASEAN will not be able to avoid the negative fallout.Continue reading

Can China and the US avoid war, asks Keven Rudd

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd — in his keynote address at the US Naval Institute’s New China Challenge conference in October — considered the strategic competition between the United States and China. This article published week ending 15 December 2018 is adapted from his speech.

As Prime Minister of Australia, through the Australian Defence White Paper of 2009, I was proud to commission the largest peacetime expansion of the Australian Navy in its history — growing our surface fleet by a third and doubling the submarine fleet. That naval expansion had a strategic purpose in mind — namely, the change in the economic and military balance of power between China and the United States.Continue reading

What war will we need Manus base for?

By Mike Scrafton*

The recent announcements about Australian and US investment in a base at Lombrum on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea has elicited positive, yet guarded, support. Putting aside the real value to PNG of being able to deploy patrol boats there to police its territorial waters, the acceptance of the strategic value to Australia and the opportunity costs of building a major facility suited to military operations in a conflict in the Asia–Pacific seem largely unexamined.Continue reading