AFA Monthly logo

Sign up to AFA Monthly

Read previous editions

8 June 2022

Albo in Indonesia

This week, Anthony Albanese continued the convention that a new Australian PM’s first bilateral visit should be to Indonesia. This ought to be considered one of Australia’s most important relationships and there is an imperative to make the extra effort with Indonesia as no two neighbours are as culturally distinct, making understanding and …

Read more

1 June 2022

Wang Yi tours Pacific

China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, is wrapping up a tour of eight Pacific island countries to seek support for an economic and security deal known as the “China-Pacific Island Countries Common Development Vision”. Yet his trip didn’t go according to plan.

The proposed agreement signalled China’s desire to be a major security stakeholder …

Read more

25 May 2022

Albanese in Tokyo

Australia’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, and foreign minister, Penny Wong, began their roles with an immediate trip to Tokyo to attend the Quad summit with leaders from the United States, Japan and India. The change in government will not create significant change in Australia’s foreign policy, but may provide opportunities to improve …

Read more

18 May 2022

Military exercises with PNG

Last week, the Australian Defence Force concluded a two-month training exercise with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), seeking to enhance PNG’s ability to respond to any unrest during next month’s election. The Australian Army’s 3rd Brigade was joined by the United Kingdom’s 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles and the United States’ …

Read more

11 May 2022

China’s Pacific plans

Despite being in the middle of an election campaign, Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, met with her Solomon Islands counterpart in Brisbane last Friday to discuss Honiara’s security agreement with Beijing. Similarly worried, Japan’s foreign minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, flew into Suva to meet with the Fijian prime minister, Josaia …

Read more

4 May 2022

South Korea and the Quad

South Korea’s president-elect, Yoon Suk-yeol, has signalled plans to play a more active role in regional security, saying that he would “positively review” any invitation to join the Quad. Yoon’s statement would be well received by Australia. The two countries have forged intimate defence ties, including a recent A$1 billion deal for Australia …

Read more

27 April 2022

What the Pacific wants

The Solomon Islands’ security agreement with China is presenting a serious Australian foreign policy crisis. Yet Australian responses driven by hawkish rhetoric that sees Pacific island countries simply as geopolitical chess pieces will risk alienating  Pacific Islanders and undermining Australia’s relationships and objectives. 

Additionally, …

Read more

20 April 2022

Sri Lanka crisis

Sri Lanka is facing an economic crisis that has forced it to suspend debt repayments as it struggles to pay for food and fuel from abroad. The crisis could also add to tensions between India and China, which both may see this as an opportunity …

Read more

13 April 2022

Bushmasters for Zelensky

Last week, the first three of twenty Australian-built Bushmaster armoured vehicles were shipped to Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelensky requested them during his speech to the Australian parliament on 31 March. The request indicated that the Bushmaster, manufactured in Bendigo, had gained a reputation as a capable piece of military hardware, …

Read more

6 April 2022

India deal

After eleven years of stop-start negotiations, Australia and India have signed an Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement. It’s not quite the comprehensive free trade deal that Australia desired, but it’s a significant act of cooperation that will benefit both countries. The agreement is projected to double trade between the two countries within …

Read more