The Interpreter

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The Interpreter is published by the Lowy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan think tank based in Sydney. It publishes daily commentary and analysis on international events.

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2021/04/07 | The Interpreter

Closer Taiwan-US Ties Are Stabilizing the Region, Not the Opposite

Displays of solidarity for Taiwan won’t contain Beijing’s ambition, but U.S. support must factor in its thinking.

2021/02/20 | The Interpreter

Myanmar’s Coup Will Test the Loyalty of the Security Forces

Armed forces organizations are not just a mindless mass prepared to do whatever they are told.

2021/02/04 | The Interpreter

Myanmar’s Empty Promise of Constitutional Reform

Democracy campaigners tried to play by the military’s rules. They suffered for it anyway.

2021/01/25 | The Interpreter

Beijing’s “Wolf Warriors” Score Own Goals

An online spat over the origins of kimchi shows the Chinese Communist Party has made people at home hungry for news of China’s dominance.

2021/01/18 | The Interpreter

Boys’ Love Brings Edgy Drama To China, and a Backlash

As a genre, gay fiction has leapt from words to the screen with enormous popularity in China, but not beyond the censor’s reach.

2020/12/08 | The Interpreter

China’s Online Meddling Goes Beyond the Great Firewall

Supporting the human rights movement in China should include fostering a fact-based Chinese-language information environment in which activists can get reliable news and analysis.

2020/12/01 | The Interpreter

Beijing’s Line on the South China Sea: “Nothing To See Here”

China’s official denials of growing military capability in the region look a lot like gaslighting.

2020/11/02 | The Interpreter

Taiwan: Rising Stakes for Australia

America’s policy of “strategic ambiguity” is being hotly contested, but multilateralism might offer a fresh approach.

2020/10/20 | The Interpreter

Duelling Diplomacy Over Southeast Asia’s Most Important River

Despite climate change and the cost of hydropower dams, Mekong nations will find it difficult to turn away from China.

2020/09/29 | The Interpreter

China-India: Talk Is Cheap, but Never Free

There are many reasons all parties should avoid a second Sino-Indian border war – the costs of conversation are only one of many factors that would delay conflict resolution.

2020/09/15 | The Interpreter

The Making of Prime Minister Suga

Shinzo Abe's “Mr. Fix-It” has the top job. Will he make his own mark in a country famed for its revolving door of PMs?

2020/09/10 | The Interpreter

Rising Protests and a Sinking Economy Spell Trouble in Thailand

A wave of dissatisfaction with the ruling elite and a Covid-induced recession have shaken the country’s foundations.

2020/09/03 | The Interpreter

A Biden Presidency and the US–South Korea Alliance

Can Joe Biden, if elected, heal the rift between the two countries, or will he make it worse?

2020/08/26 | The Interpreter

The Killings in the Philippines Grow More Brazen

The recent murder of a well-known activist signals a turning point in the campaign to eliminate dissent.

2020/07/13 | The Interpreter

The Semiconductor Industry Is Where Politics Gets Real for Taiwan

These tiny semiconductor chips, accounting for 15% of Taiwan's GDP, can profoundly change the world as the U.S. and China fight over the brains of electronics.

2020/05/13 | The Interpreter

The Beef Between China and Australia

China's proposed barley and beef tariffs on Australia may be legally dressed up, informal economic sanctions.

2020/05/12 | The Interpreter

We Should Be Cautious When Speculating About a North Korea Collapse

When speculation of a regime collapse gets out of hand, especially from people with authority, fears about the fate of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons can fuel an urge to preventively attack North Korea as a way to keep those weapons out of the wrong hands.

2020/05/04 | The Interpreter

China’s Alternative Approach to Humanitarian Aid

China's humanitarian aid has a number of distinguishing aspects, such as preferring to work bilaterally and mixing of humanitarian aid with developmental assistance,