The Listening Post, issue 13

Publication: The Listening Post

This issue examines:

  • Australia’s domestic national security debate
  • whether the Sino-Russian relationship is a nascent alliance
  • other issues on our radar
  • Macron’s visit to China
  • United States (US) defence leaks.

The shift in Australia’s geostrategic circumstance – from being located in a relative backwater to firmly within the zone of major power contestation between China and the US – has changed Australia’s national security debate dynamic markedly.

Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow in March 2023 has prompted a significant amount of renewed speculation about the closeness of the Sino-Russian partnership. Is it a nascent alliance? How much trust is the relationship based on? To what extent is it the product of genuine closeness between Xi and Vladimir Putin?

The French President Emanuel Macron took a 3 day state visit to China in April 2023, where he was treated to an extravagant display of pageantry and a red carpet welcome by Xi Jinping. A number of Macron’s statements raised eyebrows during his visit, including the claim that the European Union should not be a ‘vassal’ and must avoid being drawn into a clash between the US and China.

The Pentagon has confirmed that a number of highly classified documents have been leaked to Discord, a server popular with the gaming community. Some of these have been circulating for months. There is concern that the material may compromise sources and be even more damaging than the Snowden leak, given the information the documents contain is so recent.


Matthew Sussex
Michael Clarke