ChinaTalk: To The Quad! The Origins of "Indo-Pacific‪"‬

By Jordan Schneider
Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 10:09 AM

Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at Australia National University discusses his new book "Indo-Pacific Empire."

We talk 15th-century Korean maps, the promise of the 1947 Asian Relations Conference, Australia and India's shifting conceptions of their place in the region, the origins of the Quad, China-Australia relations and advice Rory has for the Quad countries as they try to figure out what this "minilateral" should amount to.

Megan Lamberth of CNAS cohosts. Also discussed is Martijn Rasser's report on Tech, Australia and the Quad (

Thanks to CNAS for sponsoring this episode.

Outtro music, perhaps the most beautiful song featured on ChinaTalk, comes to us via Rory's suggestion. His intro:

"Bayini," by Australian indigenous singer Gurrumul (who sadly is no longer with us).

Gurrumul performed in New Delhi in 2012 alongside Anoushka Shankar in a concert to celebrate Australia-India relations.

Bayini is a song in an indigenous Australian language, about mythological spirits visiting Northern Australia from across the sea, and is believed to reflect folklore about contact with fishermen from the Indonesian archipelago in pre-colonial times. So it has a certain Indo-Pacific character to it, of friendship and connection."

Alternate outtro music I was going to put on before Rory pitched this one....two Indian rappers and a Chinese-Australian pop star (Wengie & Shalmali - Thing You Want ft. Ikka)

Please consider supporting ChinaTalk at

Click here to listen to ChinaTalk in your favorite podcast app