Category Archives: International Affairs

RAMESH THAKUR. India’s 2019 general election suddenly becomes a lot more interesting

India’s recent elections in five states (Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Mizoram, Rajasthan, Telengana) were largely a contest between the Congress as the country’s grand old party led by Rahul Gandhi, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by PM Narendra … Continue reading

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JEFFREY D. SACHS. The War on Huawei (Project Syndicate, 11.12.18)

The Trump administration’s conflict with China has little to do with US external imbalances, closed Chinese markets, or even China’s alleged theft of intellectual property. It has everything to do with containing China by limiting its access to foreign markets, … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. The arrest of Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng in Canada.

The arrest of Meng Wanzhou (Sabrina), the CFO of Huawei, has sent shock waves in China.  It would appear that the US-China Trade Cold War has escalated to new level of conflict which involves the arresting of personnel.  Canada is … Continue reading

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JACOB GREBER. Why Former Australian Leader Believes China is About to Outflank Trump on Trade (CAIXIN GLOBAL/AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW)

(AFR) — China could be preparing to spring a global compact to drive tariffs to zero, and approach Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members including Australia for access to the grouping, positioning Beijing as a champion for free trade. That’s the view … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: Reenter the Grand Old Duke of York.

The Grand Old Duke of York was said to have marched his troops right up the hill and then marched them down again. At least he is supposed to have had some (loyal) supporters.

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ALI KAZAK. Australia’s or Israel’s national interest?

In their arguments for recognising Jerusalem as “Israel’s capital” and moving the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, his deputy Josh Frydenberg and the Minister of Defence Christopher Pyne have been repeating Israel’s propaganda and hiding the … Continue reading

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CHRIS BROOKS. Swept Up in France’s Yellow Vest Protests (Truthout).

I’ve never been tear gassed before. The smell is similar to fireworks and the effect is explosive—and effective. I immediately wanted to get as far away as I could from the noxious source of burning eyes and throat.

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ANTHONY PUN. A winter of China panic followed by a spring thawing of Australia-China relations – a view from the Chinese Australian community.

A chronological sequence of the post-winter China panic with the spring thawing of Australia-China relations is presented.  Media reports showed a definite attempt to improve Australia-China relations with commitments by PM Morrison, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and former PM Howard.  … Continue reading

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HELEN DAVIDSON. Gareth Evans and Bob Carr join call for Labor to increase Australia’s foreign aid. (The Guardian 7.12.2018)

Former ministers want party’s national conference to commit to target of 0.7% of gross national income.  

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HAMISH MCDONALD. Christian Missionaries and Their Mistaken Message from God (AsianSentinel, 05.12.18)

As fans of the old The Phantom comic strip will recall, an island in the Bay of Bengal is the location of the Skull Cave, home base of The Ghost Who Walks, established by an ancestor washed ashore in a … Continue reading

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CHRIS BURGESS. Genuine immigration reform still alien to Japan.

On 14 October 2018, a number of marches were held across Japan to mark what the organiser — the Japan First Party — labelled ‘anti-migrant day’. The target of the protestors’ wrath was the government’s proposal to revise the Immigration … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: Law versus Process as next drama erupts

Theresa May suffered three defeats in just a few hours in the British Parliament this Tuesday which doesn’t auger well for her EU Withdrawal Agreement next Tuesday. The various coalitions that have been the drivers to date may not hold … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI. The Italy of Asia.

Assuming that come May next year Australia will have had its 7th Prime Minister in ten years, it puts us on par with Italy – the erstwhile lead exponent of revolving door politics. Despite being the fourth most populous country … Continue reading

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MARK BEESON. China’s Rise and the rules-based liberal order: Implications for Australia

The prosperity of millions of Australians has become dependent on the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This unambiguous material reality explains why Australian policymakers and commentators spend so much time fretting about how to manage the relationship. The sheer material … Continue reading

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JORGE HEINE. The BRICS, their bank and beyond (India Inc.)

A strategic expert traces the origins of what brought Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa together and what the future holds for these emerging economies of the world.

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BEVAN RAMSDEN. Caught in the middle of US-China contention, Australia sides with the US in their efforts to contain and keep China out of the Western Pacific.

Australia is currently facing a major change in strategic circumstances and the argument for pursuing a truly independent foreign policy, for the economic benefit and security of the Australian people, has never been so great. 

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EAST ASIA FORUM-Preparing for the Next US Recession

One thing was clear from this weekend’s G20 summit. Asia and the world face many risks, and most of them emanate from the United States of America.

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JOCELYN CHEY. Xi Jinping V. Allah

Protests are growing around the world over the forced detention and “re-education” of the Muslim Uighurs in China’s far west Xinjiang Province. It is important to frame our response in terms of our commitment to the protection of civil and … Continue reading

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GARETH EVANS. Australia in the world: it’s time to punch our weight.

In this lecture, Gareth Evans calls for “Less America … More self-reliance … More Asia … More global engagement”.  See below, extracts from Gareth Evans’ Tom Uren Memorial Lecture delivered in Balmain 2 December 2018.  

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. North Korea: second fiddle?

Not surprisingly North Korea was relegated by the US:China “tariff war” in the recent G20 summit in Buenos Aires but some progress may have been made in preparing for the next phases of US:DPRK and ROK:DPRK dialogues. China also made … Continue reading

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DAVID BROOKS. The return of chastened America (New York Times).

Who should run the United States next? I vote for experience and the learning from past mistakes.

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RICHARD BUTLER. Ethics Etherised

Based on the facts of his conduct of his office, and there is clearly much more to emerge, the end of Trump should be in sight. But, this is not certain to be achieved. To an unprecedented degree, the President … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. Storms in the Sea of Azov.

The recent clash between Russia and Ukraine is about access to the Sea of Azov especially arising from the Russian bridge connecting Crimea to the Russian mainland.  Russian and Ukrainian claims and explanations are entirely predictable as is NATO’s condemnation … Continue reading

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STUART REES. Israel/Palestine, the Prime Minister and the Language of Peace

A former Australian Ambassador to Israel, Peter Rogers has described as a fraud Prime Minister Morrison’s claim that moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem could be shock therapy for the non-existent Israel-Palestine peace process.

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ROSS DOUTHAT. The Two-Emperor Problem (New York Times, 24.11.18)

Generally, Donald Trump’s Twitter beefs are an expense of spirit and a waste of breath. But a minority of them are genuinely edifying, and illustrations of his likely world-historical role — which is not to personally bring down our constitutional … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The emergence of China can not be denied.

 The recent  APEC  meeting in Port Moresby underlined the deepening competition between China and the United States in the Asia Pacific region. China has been expanding its influence in the South China Sea and beyond and with the United States,Japan,and … Continue reading

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IAN BURNET. ‘Friends in Australia’ – a message from Sutan Sjahir, the Prime Minister of the newly declared Republic of Indonesia, November 1945.

On 17 August 1945 and two days after the Japanese surrender, Soekarno and Hatta unilaterally declared Indonesia’s Independence and became the first President and Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Tributes | 1 Comment

FINTAN O’TOOLE. Saboteur in Chief (The New York Review of Books).

Writing about her friend the famously unpleasant Evelyn Waugh, Frances Donaldson reflected that. 

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TONY KEVIN. The Kerch Strait gambit

A Kiev-provoked Ukraine/Russia naval clash near the Kerch Strait, Crimea, threatens to derail the Argentina G20 Summit (30 Nov -1 Dec) and to worsen US-Russia bilateral relations.  NATO allies are lining up behind a false Ukrainian narrative. The war in … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Sino-U.S. clash is a great power competition, not ‘Cold War II’ (The Japan Times)

CHINA – In the Trump administration’s most substantial foreign policy speech thus far, delivered at the Hudson Institute on Oct. 4, Vice President Mike Pence accused China of a “whole-of-government” attack on U.S. interests and vowed the United States will … Continue reading

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