Category Archives: World Affairs

HELENA COBBAN. Another American first: A self-collapsing empire!( Just World News 2.6.2020)

It is impossible to see how the United States can at any point in the next quarter century regain anything like the commanding position in the world system that it occupied from 1991 through late 2019. What we are experiencing … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 3 Comments

GREGORY CLARK. The anniversary of 1971 Pingpong Diplomacy

The 50th anniversary of perhaps the most important event Australia’s relations with Asia, or even in its history, was barely noticed when it passed this month.

Posted in Asia | 2 Comments

MARK BEESON. The PRC is getting harder to like, but so is the US

China’s foreign and domestic policies are getting increasingly difficult to deal with, but so are America’s. A more even-handed approach to both might make life easier for Australian policymakers.

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 3 Comments

TIM BUCKLEY & PRAVEEN GUPTA. Energy is pivotal to India’s economic development and sustainability goals. Part 2 of 2.

In Part 1, Tim Buckley and Praveen Gupta discussed the influences on India’s economic growth, energy security and environmental sustainability. In Part 2 they explore the Indian government’s energy strategies and possible ways forward.

Posted in Asia, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

PETER GOERS. With China, many Aussies are absolute hypocrites (Sunday Mail 31.5.20)

We once ludicrously feared Reds under beds. Now, they’ve made the beds we lie in, writes Peter Goers in his monthly column.

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The dangerous and erratic ally that offers us ‘protection’! An updated repost. Part 1 of 2

Apart from brief isolationist periods, the US has been almost perpetually at war. The greatest military risk we run is being led by the nose into a US war with China. The record is clear. We have allowed ourselves to … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 21 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. How should Morrison respond to Trump’s invitation?

President Trump wants to invite Australia to attend the forthcoming G7 meeting as a guest  along with Russia, Japan, South Korea and India. Mr Morrison has said he will consider a reply.

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 9 Comments

TIM BUCKLEY & PRAVEEN GUPTA. Energy is pivotal to India’s economic development and sustainability goals. Part 1 of 2.

In Part 1, Tim Buckley and Praveen Gupta explore the factors influencing India’s economic growth, energy and water security, natural resources, air pollution and environmental sustainability.

Posted in Asia, Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

GIDEON LEVY. ‘Being Black in America Shouldn’t Be a Death Sentence.’ What About Being Palestinian? (HAARETZ 30.5.20)

Did you see the American police officers? Did you see how they choked George Floyd to death in Minneapolis?

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 1 Comment

MARK J VALENCIA. The US refuses to see China as a military equal.

A recent US Council on Foreign Relations Report advising the US government how it should deal with China in the South China Sea is derivative, defective, dewy eyed and dangerous. It is particularly worrying because the author is a China … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 7 Comments

CHRIS NYLAND. Perhaps Not a Good Time to Poke the Dragon?

A number of commentators have expressed surprise that Canberra would provoke China at a time when the Australian economy may be desperate to increase exports!

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 1 Comment

STUART REES. Authoritarian cultures in Hong Kong, the US and Australia.

Authoritarianism as a way to govern has been embraced in democracies and by dictators. It rests on assumptions that leaders know best, dissent should be suppressed, democracy derided, free speech stifled, control made effective by violence and secrecy.

Posted in Asia, Politics | 8 Comments

NICK DEANE. My fear – a US led war with China?

My fear is that Australia’s warring mind-set and its entanglement in its alliance with the USA will eventually lead the country into a US-led war with China. The possibility of stimulating defence industries to assist with the post pandemic recovery … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 8 Comments

CHEK LING. The mutating ‘China question’

What a shemozzle! The cash cow has turned into a contagious apparition!

Posted in Asia, Politics | 6 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. More Jakarta, Less Geneva!

It’s become a ritual for every Australian leader for the past half-century.

Posted in Asia | 2 Comments

DENNIS RICHARDS. Trumpism redefines American exceptionalism

Americans shamelessly believe that their nation and their culture are superior and exceptional. Under Trump America’s reputation around the world is depleted. There is a real danger that his may become permanent should Trump be re-elected in November 2020.

Posted in World Affairs | 7 Comments

JEFF KILDEA. The Irish Elections of 2020 – still no government

Almost four months after the Irish general election on 8 February 2020 Ireland is still without a government. What’s been happening and who is running the shop during the Covid-19 crisis?

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 6 Comments

JAMES LAURENCESON. Reality check on finding new export markets: China’s demand dwarfs the rest (SMH 28.5.20)

It might be conventional wisdom that Australia needs to diversify its trade and reduce dependence on China. There is, however, no magic button that delivers it. No trade delegation to New Delhi or Jakarta is going to pick up a … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Economy | 5 Comments

DANG CAM TU.The Virus and Regional Order: Perspectives from Asia and beyond .

A ‘self-help’ state is back, and nationalism, populism, xenophobia, trade, and territorial disputes are on the rise.

Posted in Asia | 1 Comment

SHEILA SMITH. US pandemic politics spells trouble for its Asian partners (EAF 24.5.20)

The Trump administration’s lack of interest in a global response to COVID-19, or even extending a helping hand to its allies and partners, is bringing home the possibility that US leadership may be gone for good. Beyond exposing a diminished … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics, World Affairs | Comments Off on SHEILA SMITH. US pandemic politics spells trouble for its Asian partners (EAF 24.5.20)

BOB CARR. Hidden Reality of Australia-China Relations

The best reading on the state of Australia-China relations is in documents we can’t see. That is, in the cables sent from Canberra to their capitals by ambassadors of Asian nations.

Posted in Asia, Politics | 5 Comments

COLIN MACKERRAS. The mess of Australia-China relations

The downward spiral in Australia-China relations must stop. The Australian government must take a lead towards a major and long overdue reset.

Posted in Asia | 6 Comments

JOCELYN CHEY.  Marsupial Madness and the Batty Media

Reliable sources of information on Australian ties with China do not include the ultra-nationalistic PRC Global Times when it applauds Australia receiving a “slap to the face,” or the Vision Times, which reports that people have recovered from COVID-19 after … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Media | 5 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. A great documentary from Canada on the Iraq War

I strongly encourage all readers of Pearls and Irritations to watch this remarkable new documentary from the National Film Board of Canada on PM Jean Chretien’s decision to say no to the Iraq War in 2003.

Posted in World Affairs | 5 Comments

MARK J VALENCIA. To Reduce Tensions in the South China Sea, the Ball is in America’s Court

The solution to the South China Sea imbroglio lies with the US, not China.

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 5 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Trump: the man who made America little again

Donald Trump, who campaigned on making America great again has presided over — indeed caused — an enormous fall in American prestige, moral authority and effective power in the world. It may still have, by far, the most military power, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 8 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM If Bali lets you in – will Oz let you back?

When is a pandemic suppression order not a lockdown? When it’s in Indonesia.

Posted in Asia, Politics | Comments Off on DUNCAN GRAHAM If Bali lets you in – will Oz let you back?

JOCELYN CHEY. Hong Kong’s Fate in the Balance

A national security bill for Hong Kong will be put to the National People’s Congress (NPC) now meeting in Beijing. This aims to end an impasse in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, which has never passed local legislation to enact Article … Continue reading

Posted in Asia | 8 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. The miracle of being two-faced and saving both faces

In the end, it was all about saving face. The dodgy compromise resolution to set up an inquiry over the origins of coronavirus left everyone claiming a win.

Posted in World Affairs | 15 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. Historical amnesia: Great power behaviour and criticism of China

Between 1890 and 1920 the democratic US became a great power. It’s trajectory from western hemisphere state to global power has some economic, military and foreign policy parallels with authoritarian China’s growth in the twenty-first century.

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics, World Affairs | 12 Comments