Category Archives: Australia and Asia

TIM LINDSEY. Jakarta elections a very bad look for Indonesia

The decisive defeat of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known as ‘Ahok’) in Jakarta’s litmus-test gubernatorial election is a triumph for hardline Islamist mob agitators. It comes after years of pressure from the Muslim right and may flag a shift in Indonesian … Continue reading

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Building a regional refugee framework.

The Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM) expanded its membership, deepened its policy contributions to the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) and developed its connection to the Association of Southeast Asian … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Canberra wrong-footed in our region?

For Ms Bishop to be talking in Singapore about China and democracies, the Japanese “big ship” and rallying the claimants while pleading with the US to remain staunchly committed in the region certainly is risky. We could be exposed as … Continue reading

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TIM LINDSEY. Jokowi Lite: The Indonesian president’s non-visit

The relationship between our two countries is now back on a more normal diplomatic footing for the moment but we need to do better than that if we are to make the most of our proximity to this gigantic nation … Continue reading

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RYAN MANUEL. Belt and road: less than meets the eye

The recent unravelling of world affairs has seen many argue that China may lead closer global economic cooperation. Xi Jinping’s recent speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos encouraged this rather surprising turn of events. Xi opined that protectionism, … Continue reading

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DENNIS ARGALL. The complexity of saying no to the Americans.

The degree of ‘interoperability’ with US forces shapes the minds of Australian service personnel from top to bottom as also it shapes procurement planning and justification. … Any review by us of the Alliance relationship would run-up against a deep history. … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Australia Day – the Queen and the Asian Century

This is a repost from 26/1/2013 A major barrier to our future in the region is our dependence on foreign institutions and powers. First it was the British and now the Americans. We cling to others.  

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GEOFF MILLER. Foreign policy in our own interests.

We need to take decisions based on our own national interests.  But we should take those decisions based on a knowledge of what regional countries think.  

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Indonesia – Complexities, restraints, and opportunities for Australia

The importance of our relations with Indonesia in the future and in the wider context of the Asian century cannot be overstated. It is essential that each country acts to know more about its neighbour.  

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WALTER HAMILTON. The Sideline is Out of Play

‘Taking sides’ is a schoolyard conception of how a nation’s strategic interest is to be calculated and diplomacy shaped. Standing on the sidelines of a fight, pointing an accusing finger at other barracking spectators and crying ‘you’re taking sides’ is … Continue reading

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WALTER HAMILTON. Japan’s New Blood

The Australian servicemen who left behind mixed-race children during the postwar Occupation of Japan set in motion changes that are chipping away at a nation’s stubborn myth of racial homogeneity.  

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WALTER HAMILTON. ‘Fighting Monsters’

Australians, Americans and Japanese have been ‘fighting monsters’––the monsters of war remembrance––since 1945. A high-profile visit to Pearl Harbor during the week seemed to suggest another monster was being laid to rest. But while that piece of theatre left much … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. From America into Asia

As Australia necessarily rethinks its alliance with the United States, it must simultaneously educate itself into Asia. There is just no other way.  

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JOHN MENADUE. Australian Strategic Policy Institute. By their fruits you will know them.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is not in the habit in recent years of speaking truth to power. It has seriously departed from the original charter that Hugh White explained. It acts  like a foreign entity.  

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JOANNE WALLIS. Hollow hegemon: Australia’s declining influence in the Pacific

Australia has vital strategic interests in the Pacific but comparatively less influence with which to pursue them.  Pacific states are largely unwilling to accept Australian leadership.

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TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. The ‘information war’ hits Sydney.

This action by a small number of Japanese in Australia harms the Japanese community itself and demeans the work of those in Japan and elsewhere who have fought so long and hard for historical truth and justice. 

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PAUL BARRATT. A transformational foreign policy

Some of Australia’s most experienced former foreign policy and defence bureaucrats have issued an open submission to the Foreign Minister calling on her to rethink the Australian-US alliance now that president-elect Donald Trump is set to lead the US.

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. A declining Australia.

 With dropping levels in education and a fading economy Australia is in a decline. What we need is a clear focus on our own area, Asia and the South West Pacific. 

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RICHARD BUTLER. Australian Foreign Policy and the United States

A review of Australian foreign policy is long overdue, not simply because of the election of Donald Trump. This should include redefinition of our conduct under the Alliance.

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REG LITTLE. Understanding cultural differences between Australia and China.

Australia’s most urgent challenge today is overcoming two centuries of ‘false education’ about China. Western thought culture tends to be characterised by assumptions, abstractions, rationalities, theories and belief. In contrast, Chinese thought culture tends to be holistic, fluid, intuitive, reflective, … Continue reading

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WALTER HAMILTON. When all else fails, try Pearl Harbor

Prime Minister Abe of Japan is running out of tricks, but there is no viable alternative.

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JOHN MENADUE. White man’s media

The Australian media behave as if Australia is a large island parked off London or New York. Our media is remarkably derivative as a result of media systems laid down over a century ago. It is very unresponsive to the … Continue reading

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PETER VARGHESE. Dealing with China

China will look to play a greater role in existing institutions and to craft new institutions and arrangements which place it at the centre in a pattern perhaps reminiscent of the Middle Kingdom … We must continue to pursue policies … Continue reading

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Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration – the desperate situation of Rohingya in Myanmar.

Situation in Rakhine State in Myanmar of grave concern – the region must be on high alert. Mass displacement inevitable if violence continues to escalate.

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PAUL BARRATT. Managing ANZUS in the age of Trump. Quo vadis series.

  Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary.  Australia should do a ‘really deep stocktake of what is in our vital national interests and what we are prepared to sign up to’ .

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TONY KEVIN. The Global Strategic Landscape – present realities, and prospects under Trump. Quo vadis series.

  Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary. Australia should call on all the nuclear weapon states – in particular, the two major arsenal-holders US and Russia – to return to the prudent protocols and courtesies of classical great … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Trump – Seize the moment. Quo vadis series.

Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary. We have a unique moment to do something Australia has never done – make a rational distinction between our national interests and our enduring regard for the US.

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CAVAN HOGUE. Has the alliance got us into more trouble than it has got us out of? Quo vadis series.

Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary. Trump does give us an opportunity to do things we should have done long ago.

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ANDREW FARRAN. ANZUS – Reality check coming soon! Quo vadis series.

Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary. We need diplomacy of the highest order, not military interventions which, as we have seen, generally make conflict situations worse.

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RAMESH THAKUR. ANZUS in the time of Trump. Quo vadis series.

Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary. Trump has the potential to mark an inflection point in the evolution of Australia as a self-confident and independent Indo-Pacific actor.

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