Category Archives: Australia and Asia

RAMESH THAKUR. China and the North Korean nuclear challenge

On a superficial reading, China is feeling the squeeze to take effective action to bring North Korea to heel over its rogue nuclear program. On a deeper reading, China’s gains from the crisis exceed the costs. On a wider reading, … Continue reading

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JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. Why the West and Japan should stop preaching to a rising China

Jean-Pierre Lehmann says the imperialist powers of old should acknowledge their own bloody history of plunder and exploitation, and work with Beijing to find a path to a peaceful rise, which so far is unprecedented.

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Religious and ethnic persecution sours ASEAN’s birthday party

Against the backdrop of a rising China, positive news out of the region is being undermined by several major crises.

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JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. Aug 15: A day to mark Western imperialism

The date marks the 70th anniversary of the independence and partition of India, an event that has its roots in Western colonial conquest of the Indian sub-continent. It should also be remembered by the imperialists who plundered the planet.

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China’s Maritime Provocations Are Nothing Next To America’s Adventurism A Century Ago

The message from the U.S. is that China should be more like us. But Americans should be careful what they wish for.

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DOUGLAS NEWTON. The Centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres

On 31 July 1917, one hundred years ago, Britain launched the Third Battle of Ypres on the Western Front. It would climax in the Battle of Passchendaele in November. During this centenary, will the Australian people be showered with stories … Continue reading

Posted in ANZAC, Australia and Asia, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | 6 Comments

MAX HAYTON. New Zealand’s General Election, September 23 2017.

There’ll be no revolution this time.  Polls show New Zealand voters are as contented as a herd of freshly milked cows.  The election will produce a government that will be either centre-left or centre-right.  Either way, the winner will probably … Continue reading

Posted in Australia and Asia, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

TIM LINDSEY. Jokowi’s dilemma: turning Islamists into civil rights heroes?

Indonesia’s emergency law, enacted in response to the growing disruptive influence of Islamist hard-liners, could be a blow to the open, liberal democracy that Indonesian reformers have been trying to build ever since the fall of Soeharto in 1998. And … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. The Fall of Mosul and Raqqa opens the door for Australia’s exit from the Middle East

Now that ISIS has for all intents and purposes been driven out of Mosul and Raqqa the time has come for the Australian government to step back and review its diplomatic policies, and military commitments, in that region and focus … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Modi’s actions fail to live up to his words

Three years on, it’s hard for even the most ardent Indophile to remain optimistic about the nation’s future.

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Our mission creeps into Southeast Asia

We should not have to resort to speculation about what our troops are doing either in Syria or in the Philippines. But the mere mention of Islamist terrorism now generates an armed response.

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CAVAN HOGUE. We always want an outside protector

The recent Lowy poll that showed a decrease in support for Trump but not for the alliance should not come as a surprise. It is consistent with Australia’s long standing desire for a protector. We should not be naïve about … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. Where have all the grown-ups gone on China policy?

Malcolm Turnbull’s glib talk of ‘‘frenemies’’ does nothing to help the urgent debate over how we handle the rising power of China.

Posted in Australia and Asia, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politics | 2 Comments

GREGORY CLARK. Canberra’s new identity problem.

With its new citizenship rules requiring applicants to show proof of attachment to Australian culture and values, Canberra has triggered a national identity debate.  It is accused of showing xenophobic tendencies. But national identity could be much more complex than … Continue reading

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JUSUF WANANDI. Tribute to ambassador Richard Woolcott

Jusuf Wanandi pays tribute to Dick Woolcott, former Ambassador to Indonesia and Secretary of the Department of FOreign Affairs and Trade, on his 90th birthday.   Throughout his long career Woolcott has been a friend to Indonesia.

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JOHN MENADUE. Miners, taxation and donations. (Repost 17/10/2013)

In my blog of June 3 “the Miners Lament”, I pointed out that the large foreign owned  mining companies in Australia may yet regret that they rejected out of hand the Resources Super Profits Tax that the Rudd Government proposed. … Continue reading

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 JEAN – PIERRE LEHMANN. Conspicuous Western & Japanese Absence from Belt & Road Initiative Summit is a Big Mistake

The conspicuous absence of the heads of state from the major Western economic powers and Japan at the 14/15 May Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) in Beijing is a big mistake and a missed opportunity for enhancing dynamic and cooperative … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE – Our derivative white man’s media

Politicians are continually blamed for their failures but our media is also responsible for the state of public discussion on important issues. This downward  media spiral has been led by the Murdoch media’s abuse of power  in the three major … Continue reading

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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.  

Posted in Australia and Asia, Human Rights, Immigration | Tagged , | 2 Comments

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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