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AFA Monthly is a free email published each month by Australian Foreign Affairs.
Written and curated by editor Grant Wyeth, it features news and insights on crucial world events and their effect on Australia, in a style that’s clear, succinct and free of jargon.
It also offers a round-up of the month's key articles by leading foreign policy thinkers from Australia and around the world.
Read previous editions
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 …
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 …
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.
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, …
6 April 2022
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 …
30 March 2022
Budget’s cyber offensive
The Australian government’s 2022 budget has forecast a dramatic increase in the country’s cyber and intelligence capabilities, including enhancing Australia’s ability to “hack back”. The government plans to spend just under $10 billion over the next decade to double the size of the Australian Signals Directorate – creating 1900 new jobs …
23 March 2022
Pivot to India
Over the weekend, Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, made an official visit to India, where he pledged to invest 5 trillion yen (A$57 billion) in the country over the next five years, signalling Japan’s view of India as an important rising power. This follows on from a previous investment of 3.5 trillion yen (A$40 billion) that former prime …
16 March 2022
Last week, Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, met with the new Chinese ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian. It was the first high-level contact between the two governments in years. No substantive changes came from this initial encounter – yet, in the often slow and cautious world of diplomacy, the meeting may indicate a page turning …
9 March 2022
Pacific and Ukraine
If Russia was hoping to find the Pacific sympathetic to its invasion of Ukraine, it must now be disappointed. At the emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly last week, realising the gravity of the Ukraine situation, all Pacific island countries voted to condemn Russia’s invasion. The Federated States of Micronesia has gone …
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