ASPI suggests
19 Apr 2013|

 Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates reviews the People's Liberation Army Honor Guard as part of an arrival ceremony honoring Gates' visit to the Bayi building in Beijing, China, on Jan. 10, 2011.China released a new Defence White Paper. Lots of commentary on that, including from the BBC, NYT, and The Australian. In particular it seems that China didn’t include a no-first-use statement about its nuclear arsenal.

Former Australian ambassador Garry Woodard has reconstructed (PDF) what he calls  ‘…the previously unknown, and remarkably casual process by which the Menzies government committed Australian troops to Vietnam.’ He then goes on to argue that the ‘processes by which Australian governments have taken the decision to go to war, from Korea in 1950 to Vietnam to Iraq in 2003, do not stand up to scrutiny.’

Ross Terrill, a doyen of China studies and visiting fellow at ASPI, is giving a lecture at the ANU China Institute at 5pm on Friday, 26 April on Mao, the CCP, and American China-policy: an overview from Yanan years till now.

The Boston bombings this week have generated more speculation than information. But here we have an example from the New Yorker of the results of fear-mongering, and similarly, this piece from the BBC.

There’s a lot out there on the Korean situation, but here is a sensible one on why, though not utterly improbable, war on the Korean Peninsula is highly unlikely. Also on The Diplomat, is this piece about the provocative move by Japan to grant fishing rights to Taiwan around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, which are the subject of a dispute between Japan and China.

CSIS has a report (PDF) to provide a taster on the complexities of the geostrategic implications of unconventional oil and natural gas—a good thing in a week where Woodside Petroleum cancelled a USD$45 billion liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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