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Managing the China relationship, the future of Australia’s submarines, digital investment in Southeast Asia

In this episode of Policy, Guns & Money, Brendan Nicholson speaks to Charles Parton, Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, career diplomat and China expert. Charles provides an overview of how the Chinese Communist Party operates, what China wants from Australia and the UK, and the need for like-minded democracies to be coordinated in their approaches to prevent the use of coercive and hostage diplomacy. They also discuss opportunities to improve the relationship over time.

Next, the Department of Defence's Attack-class submarine program has been highly scrutinised, with media outlets reporting a commissioned review may result in the government walking away from its partnership with France’s Naval Group. Michael Shoebridge and Dr Marcus Hellyer weigh in on the $89 billion program and what it means for the future of Australia's maritime security and Defence capabilities.

Finally, Bart Hogeveen speaks to Dr Huong Le Thu about Australia’s announcement in November 2020 of a $500 million investment into Southeast Asia to assist with the region’s recovery from Covid-19. They discuss opportunities for the Australian government to increase its engagement in the region through investment in digital initiatives, something Dr Huong Le Thu wrote about in the latest issue of Australian Foreign Affairs.