Category Archives: Australia and Asia

GARRY WOODARD. Trump and ANZUS. Quo vadis series.

Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary. Will Australia allow itself to be drawn into Sino-American tensions in the incorrect belief that it has no choice under ANZUS or ‘five eyes’.

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The Trump Presidency and Australia. Quo vadis series.

  Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS  Summary. Our relationship with the US is of course very important and substantial. This does not mean that we should be seen as not responding quickly to the greatly changed world of … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. Donald Trump and the ANZUS Alliance – Quo vadis series.

Quo vadis – Australian foreign policy and ANZUS. Summary. Dennis Richardson, the Secretary of the Defence Department, recently informed us that the ANZUS Alliance was ongoing, irrespective of who was President of the United States. Of course, this is true, but … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Quo vadis – the future of the US-Australian alliance. Part 3.

  Summary. Is war in the American DNA? In his book ‘Dangerous allies’, Malcolm Fraser warned us how we can be drawn into US conflicts that are of no immediate concern to us. He warned of ‘dangerous strategic dependence’ on … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Quo vadis – the future of the US-Australian alliance. Part 1:

Summary. Donald Trump, Dylan Thomas, and the Australia US Alliance – A great power in decline.

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GEOFF MILLER. Trump, Australia and the South China Sea.

  The Trump victory has led to justified concern in Australia, as elsewhere, and few would carp at what seems to have been a successful and cordial talk between him and our Prime Minister. It’s a good thing that Trump … Continue reading

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STEPHEN FITZGERALD. Donald Trump. Seizing the opportunity to strengthen relations with countries in Asia.

Kim Beazley, as shocked as anyone by the election result, has said: “We do have one advantage going for us with a Trump presidency, and that’s this. We are a member of the only American alliance that the Trump people … Continue reading

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ROSS GARNAUT. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. Part 2.

The Challenge of Globalisation. This is the second of a two-part series of extracts from an address which Professor Ross Garnaut gave to the Sydney Democracy Network, University of Sydney, 7 September 2016.  The full text of his address can be … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. General Macarthur, the Philippines and Australian troops in WWII.

  The very good Boston Globe article reminded me of two other events in Philippines history of WW11 about which so little is known in Australia. They have some relevance to the contemporary scene. For a long time prior to … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The nuclear refuseniks: Australia follows the US again.

  In voting against the UN resolution calling for negotiation of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, Australia, Japan and South Korea are swimming against the global tide of opinion and that of their Asia and Pacific neighbours, argues Ramesh … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. The real shipping choke point for Australia – Sibutu Channel

Neither the Australian government nor the Australian media have informed us about the critical nature of the Sibutu Channel. As mentioned in this blog some time ago. the active political and media discussion in Australia about the South China Sea … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Duterte plays the China card

  Not surprisingly, President Duterte is proving more than a handful for US policy makers on the eve of his major state visit to China. If he achieves many of the ambitious goals set for the visit , Duterte will … Continue reading

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NICHOLAS FARRELLY. What is King Bhumibol’s legacy?

New Mandala co-founder Nicholas Farrelly reflects on a remarkable and contentious reign. The 70-year reign of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej started and ended inauspiciously. It was a family tragedy that unexpectedly brought Bhumibol to the throne. He went on to … Continue reading

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HUGH WHITE. Choosing between the US and China.

  As strategic tensions have mounted in Asia this year, it has become steadily clearer that small and middle powers in the region — countries like Singapore and Australia — face a stark choice. But it isn’t, as some people … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Cheering for East Timor.

  It may sound unpatriotic, but I could not help cheering when the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague brought down its decision last week, and it was against Australia. After more than 12 festering years, this finally brings … Continue reading

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JOHN FITZGERALD. Beijing’s Guoqing versus Australia’s way of life.

Beijing’s role in the Chinese community media in Australia is increasingly in conflict with its own demand for respect. Beijing is tired of foreign analysts criticising China simply for being what it is. A former Chinese ambassador to Australia, Fu … Continue reading

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STEPHEN FITZGERALD. China’s deepening engagement in Australian society: is it a concern?

  The PRC government’s influence in domestic Australia – long active but not altogether visible or much remarked – is now emerging as a big, contentious and potentially disruptive issue in the relationship, and a thorny one for policy-makers. In … Continue reading

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BOB KINNAIRD. The Coalition’s Backpacker tax and work rights package

  The Coalition’s backpacker policy announcement yesterday focussed on tax rates but also includes a significant expansion of work rights under Australia’s working holiday maker program (WHM or 417 and 462 visas). …. The Coalition’s main aim is to provide … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. Another win for ‘David’ Timor against ‘Goliath’ Australia

David Timor has once again scored a win against Goliath Australia in the international legal forum. Last time it was in the International Court of Justice which took strong exception to Australia’s raiding of the office of a lawyer involved … Continue reading

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JAMES GERRAND. Cambodia Crackdown. Part 2 of 2.

Part 2   Hun Sen’s Red Brotherhood Hanoi cannot be seen to be interfering in Cambodian affairs but the Vietnamese military has cemented close ties with the Hun Sen regime – none closer than with the Prime Minister’s personal Bodyguard Unit … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. ‘We must get out of Syria’

  A comment in support of Richard Woolcott’s blog: “Australia’s Shambolic Policy on Syria – Up Shi’ite Creek Without a Paddle. – We must get out of Syria”  Richard Woolcott has stated with clear reasons why we should get out … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. ‘Faster economic growth demands better chief executives’.

  There was a revealing heading in a recent article by Ross Gittins, the economics editor of the SMH, ‘Faster growth demands better chief executives’. He concluded his article by pointing to the need for business leadership to seize the … Continue reading

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JAMES GERRAND. Cambodia Crackdown – part 1 of 2

  Part 1 ‘Kill a Chicken to Scare the Monkeys’ Around my regular haunts in Phnom Penh are daily reminders of Cambodia’s enduring capacity for political violence: in Kabko market my favourite street restaurant was the scene where political adviser … Continue reading

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LINDA JAKOBSON. Beware the China alarmists out there

  The quandary over what to do about People’s Republic of China government influence in Australia has burst on to the political scene. For the past months there has been ongoing media commentary about the consequences of political donations by … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Australia’s Shambolic Policy on Syria – Up Shi’ite Creek Without a Paddle.

  We must get out of Syria. The war in Syria is extraordinarily complex. It really began in 2011 with the failures of the so-called Arab Spring. Now the core conflict is between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and the … Continue reading

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TRAVERS McLEOD, PETER HUGHES, SRIPRAPHA PETCHARAMESREE, STEVEN WONG, TRI NUKE PUDJIASTUTI. Developing a regional refugee framework.

September has seen a surge of international summits. First came the G20 in Hangzhou, then ASEAN and the East Asia Summit in Vientiane, plus the Pacific Islands Forum in Pohnpei. And, on consecutive days this week, the United Nations in … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The unmooring of our national defence from our national interest. Part 4 of 4.

  Australia is currently courting offence rather than, as governments so often assert, defence – a transformation which might only charitably be attributed to absent mindedness if the alternative, stealth, is excluded. It is, moreover, a change wrought, in the … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Here we go again: Julie Bishop and Duterte!

  Foreign Minister Bishop’s not so gentle rebuke of President Duterte that the Philippines as a claimant state should pull its weight in the South China Sea eerily had all the elements of the earlier Australian approach to the acrimonious … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The unmooring of our national defence from our national interest. Part 2 of 4.

Australia is currently courting offence rather than, as governments so often assert, defence – a transformation which might only charitably be attributed to absent mindedness if the alternative, stealth, is excluded. It is, moreover, a change wrought, in the first … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The unmooring of our national defence from our national interest. Part 1 of 4.

Australia is currently courting offence rather than, as governments so often assert, defence – a transformation which might only charitably be attributed to absent mindedness if the alternative, stealth, is excluded. It is, moreover, a change wrought, in the first … Continue reading

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