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Defence department secretary Dennis Richardson has described Australia’s relationship with the US and Chinas as friends with both, allies with one. AAP/Lukas Coch

Defence secretary warns of China’s ‘unprecedented’ land reclamation activity in South China Sea

Regional changes will eventually raise questions about whether Australia's defence needs can be met with a spending level of 2% of GDP, Defence Department secretary Dennis Richardson has said.
John Kerry talks trade with workers at Boeing POOL New/ Reuters

Is TPP about jobs – or China?

Washington is in the midst of a heated debate over President Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. It certainly has created some unorthodox political bedfellows. The president is…
As China realises the unpriced costs of coal power, such as air pollution, coal production is starting to fall. Gustavo M/Flickr

The world is waking up to the $5.3 trillion cost of fossil fuels

China's falling coal production suggests the world is waking up to the real cost of coal, calculated as $5.3 trillion in a report released this week.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. REUTERS/Diego Azubel/Pool

How to rebalance Africa’s relationship with China

For sub-Saharan Africa to benefit fully from its growing economic ties with China both parties need to change their behaviour and attitude.
A Chinese government image of soldiers on one of the built-up Spratly islands. mod.gov.cn

Exposing US hypocrisy on South China Sea island reclamation

The US is considering using warships and helicopters to pressure China into scaling back construction in the Spratly islands. But why is there one rule for China, and another for other nations?
Much to talk about: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang chat during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. EPA/Kenzaburo Fukuhara

India and China move closer as Modi tours ‘Act East’ policy

India wants closer engagement with its neighbours as it aspires to become a global manufacturing hub. Narendra Modi's visits to China, Mongolia and South Korea are all about promoting this agenda.
A submarine missile-launching capacity brings the threat closer to the shores of the target country. Flickr/Marion Doss

North Korea’s submarine missile firing raises the nuclear stakes

North Korea does not yet have the capacity to launch a nuclear missile from a submarine. Its recent test, however, suggests it is making progress to a game-changing second-strike capability.
A Filipino soldier patrols the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The US is considering sending aircrafts and warships to patrol the disputed area, which is claimed by China and four other Southeast Asian countries. EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO / POOL

US patrol in South China Sea may stop China’s mischief in disputed waters

The US is considering naval patrols of disputed parts of the South China Sea in response to China's creation of artificial islands. Other nations with claims may welcome a temporary US presence.
China’s neighbours have accused it of destroying an estimated 120 hectares of coral reef systems in the disputed Spratly Islands through land reclamation. EPA/Armed Forces of the Philippines

Why the world is wary of China’s ‘great wall of sand’ in the sea

China's island-building activities in the South China Sea play well to a nationalistic domestic audience and aim to reinforce its territorial and maritime claims in a potentially resource-rich area.
Australian food exports, like beef, are regarded by Chinese buyers as clean and safe. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Agriculture could be the next boom for Australia

Australia's emerging agriculture boom can last much longer than the mining boom -- but the industry needs policies that will encourage investment.
Powerful waves of nationalist sentiment have endured since the second world war and continue to pose difficulties for the leaders of Japan and China. EPA/Kim Kyung-Hoon

War anniversary promises year of difficulty for Asia’s rival powers

The fog of the second world war and the murkiness of the post-war settlement laid the contours of Asia's complex and uncertain strategic landscape.
The Dalai Lama has been coy about his successor. Sergio Carvalho/Flickr

Could this Dalai Lama be the last?

An elaborate and lengthy selection process is in danger of being co-opted by the Chinese government.

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