AFA Monthly logo

Sign up to AFA Monthly

Read previous editions

18 November 2020

Japan defence pact

On Tuesday, Scott Morrison and Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga reached an in-principle agreement on a Japan–Australia defence pact, which will allow closer military cooperation on exercises and shared use of resources, including bases and fuel.

The agreement came as Morrison made his first overseas trip since the outbreak of the …

Read more

11 November 2020

Summit season

Asia’s summit season starts this week amid some likely distraction in regional diplomatic circles caused by the US presidential election.

As the summits are being held online due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, officials have had greater access to each other to prepare for the summits. On the other hand, leaders won’t have the …

Read more

4 November 2020

US election

Counting is underway in the United States election, but the result is currently too close to call.

If Joe Biden wins, the result will be greeted by the country’s allies, Australia included, as a return to normality after four tumultuous years with Donald Trump as president. 

As a longstanding moderate Democrat, former chair of the …

Read more

28 October 2020

The US election and Australia

The US presidential election next Tuesday is seen by many Americans as the most consequential in living memory. It will determine how the country responds to its current health and economic crises, and whether Donald Trump’s populism and “America First” world view are aberrations or new norms.

But the election may be almost as important …

Read more

21 October 2020

Don’t forget NZ

Jacinda Ardern won a strong majority in New Zealand’s election on Saturday and can now choose to run the country without making concessions to a coalition partner.

After receiving acclaim for her handling of a series of crises in her first term, she faces a different test: leading the country out of a COVID-19 recession that is deeper than …

Read more

14 October 2020

Aid is up

The Morrison government increased development aid funding by about 4 per cent in the federal budget delivered last week. 

The government plans to spend an extra A$304.7 million over two years in Timor-Leste and the South Pacific to help with the coronavirus recovery. An extra A$23.2 million will be spent over three years to assist with the …

Read more

7 October 2020

Can we bank on the Quad?

Foreign ministers from Australia, the United States, Japan and India met in Tokyo on Tuesday for what was only the second formal ministerial meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

The Quad started in 2007 as a low-profile gathering of officials from the Indo-Pacific’s four largest democracies, but was moribund in less than a year …

Read more

30 September 2020

From negative to positive globalism

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly last Friday, Scott Morrison emphasised the need for global cooperation to manage challenges like COVID-19. He also praised the UN for “fulfilling its high purpose, the purpose that seventy-five years ago brought the world together in a united hope, and in goodwill”.

The speech marked a …

Read more

23 September 2020

Taiwan tensions

Last Friday, China stepped up tensions in the Taiwan Strait, sending air force jets into Taiwanese airspace in three locations. This occurred as Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, was due to meet US undersecretary of state, Keith Krach. The undersecretary is the most senior State Department official to visit Taiwan since the United States switched …

Read more

16 September 2020

No news from China

Last week, amid deteriorating Australia–China relations, two Australian reporters flew home from China on the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

It later emerged that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australian Federal Police had executed search warrants in June on four Chinese reporters based in …

Read more