Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 04:19 | SYDNEY
Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 04:19 | SYDNEY

Tuesday security linkage


Rory Medcalf


27 April 2010 08:42

  • Just a few years ago the wisdom among quite a few China experts was that the odds were against the PLA Navy seeking a serious power-projection role, given that this would be such a departure from Chinese military tradition and 'strategic culture'. Now long-range Chinese naval missions are the subject of mainstream and high-profile news reporting. And the open debate in Beijing is not whether to project maritime power, but how: submarines or aircraft carriers
  • If I seem to pay inordinate attention to China-India strategic relations, it is partly because this strikes me as such an under-examined 'dyad' (as international relations scholars like to say). The denial that there is a problem – especially China's insistence that India is not a strategic rival — carries its own dangers. Which is why it is such welcome news that the two rising Asian powers have recently agreed to a security hotline between their leaders – a level of crisis communication that eludes the Washington-Beijing relationship.
  • I've commented elsewhere about Australian Opposition leader Tony Abbott's recent national security speech, the good and the bad of it. I'm still baffled why he did not try to capitalise on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's non-attendance at President Obama's Nuclear Security Summit, and opted instead for a promise to 'disband' the Australian-Japanese commission on nuclear disarmament (odd, given that its main task was concluded with the launch of its main report last December). Abbott can hardly object to the prevention of nuclear terrorism.
  • Looks as if the recent sinking of a South Korean corvette – with heavy loss of life – was an act of war by the North. Nobody is suggesting that escalation is likely. But nor can we pretend that peace on the Korean Peninsula is just Seoul's or Washington's problem. If you are from Australia, Canada, Turkey, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Britain, South Africa, Belgium, Greece, Thailand, the Netherlands, New Zealand or Luxembourg, then strictly speaking the Korean War – which ended with an armistice that Pyongyang claims no longer to honour — is your country's unfinished business too. 
  • Still, if major hostilities ever did break out again across the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea could claim at least one lethal new ally.