Category Archives: Asia

LINDA JAKOBSON ET AL. China and Australia Relations-Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security

 I am grateful to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) for this opportunity to comment on the Bill. Please note that this submission is a duplicate of my submission to the PJCIS regarding the Foreign Influence Transparency … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Admiral Harris : Ambassador or Viceroy ?

The appointment of Admiral Harris as Ambassador to Australia raises serious concerns about the role he will play in the development of Australian strategic policy as we seek to maintain the sort of relationship with China and the US outlined … Continue reading

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JOSEPH A. CAMILLERI. Many are thinking: we can surely do better as a nation

Across the country there is much amusement, and a good deal of bewilderment. People are asking: how can our subservience to Washington’s bidding hit such an all-time low? How can a government think it can shape Australia’s future security and … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. The Philippine War and the Saviour syndrome

The American war against the Philippine Republic which began in 1898 and its subsequent colonisation  of the Philippines teaches us many things about perennial American beliefs and actions. The concept that the US is saving somebody from something is a … Continue reading

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PETER DRYSDALE AND JOHN DENTON. Australia must move beyond Cold War thinking

Searching for evidence of ‘Chinese influence’ in Australia? Look no further than the census. Around 1.2 million people declared themselves of Chinese heritage. About 600,000 were born in mainland China. And while recent coverage of alleged Chinese ‘influence’ in Australian … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s curious neglect of citizens of Asian origin

Last year, I commented on the puzzling neglect of Asian-Australians in the country’s public life, in particular Parliament. Published in Pearls and Irritations on 3 October, the article seemed to resonate among many readers and generated more messages in response … Continue reading

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HARRY DEMPSEY. Will Trump snap Japan’s tenuous tightrope?

The unhinged madman foreign policy of US President Donald Trump means Tokyo must walk a tightrope to manage the US–Japan alliance. On security policy, on trade and on North Korea, Japan will increasingly have to develop its own independent regional … Continue reading

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ARTHUR STOCKWIN. Explaining one-party dominance in Japanese politics.

In 1990 US scholar TJ Pempel edited a book titled Uncommon Democracies, which wrote about parliamentary democracies where a single party had been unusually dominant. These included Sweden, Italy, Israel, West Germany and Japan. Australia was also a candidate for … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The bomb for Australia? (Part 1)

In this three-part series, I examine the counter-arguments that proponents of Australia obtaining nuclear weapons need to address before the nation contemplates such a move.

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

SHIRO ARMSTRONG. More to Australia-Japan security than bilateral defence ties.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is visiting Japan . Whatever else is said, at the top of the agenda in his discussions with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be managing relations with the United States and China. These are … Continue reading

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GEOFF MILLER. Singapore, Australia, “the Quad” and ASEAN—same same but different!

Singapore and Australia are having to deal with the same set of problems and relationships as the strategic situation in the Asia-Pacific changes.  Singapore isn’t a contender for an expanded “Quad” but, as next year’s Chairman of ASEAN, it will … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. Visit Down Under and pay up.

Indonesians will not be getting cheap and easy-to-obtain Australian visas available to Malaysians and Singaporeans. Australian campaigners seeking better access for Indonesian tourists have been officially told there will be no changes. This is despite the Republic giving Australians free … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY AND THOMAS ORA. Timor-Leste’s young government teeters on collapse

Asia’s most Catholic country faces the prospect of a second election inside nine months after government fractures

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JOHN LEE. The rise of China’s tech sector: the making of an internet empire.

Part one of this two-part series looks at the rise of China’s digital economy, the champion firms that dominate it, and their relationship with the Chinese state.  The Chinese government’s online censorship and alleged cyber espionage activities have long been a … Continue reading

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UCANews. Democracy showdown looms in Malaysia

Approaching elections should act as a safety valve in the multi-ethnic nation.

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The Australia – Indonesia Agreement on maintaining security in 1995

  The Cabinet papers for 1994/95, released on 1 January this year, made it clear that Paul Keating had sought to develop a security agreement between Australia and Indonesia in 1994. The Agreement was completed in 1995.  

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MACK WILLIAMS. Breaking the ice at Pyeongchang?

The decision by the DPRK to reopen high level talks with the ROK next week in preparation for the Winter Olympics is monumental for the ROK. Followed by the US:ROK decision to defer major military exercises at the time of … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. India riding roughshod in commodities trade.

India’s decision on 21 December to slap overnight a 30% tariff increase on Australian imports of lentils and chick peas is just not what a stable, orderly trade system needs. But even so, do we need another discriminatory bilateral so-called … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. War on the cheap.

It’s unlikely that the Army will commission a further report following Albert Palazzo’s account of the ADF’s operations in Iraq. We have years to wait for Professor Craig Stocking’s official history. What Australia urgently needs is a full independent inquiry … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Korean Hot Line

Kim Jong-un’s offer to re-open the hotline with South Korea cannot be seen as merely a ploy to wedge ROK and the United States, as so readily claimed last Tuesday by Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations.  

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GEORGE WRIGHT. A year of dashed hopes and tyranny in Cambodia

To many, dissolution of the main opposition party caps a year in which the country became a full dictatorship.

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Worries about Malaysia’s ‘Arabisation’ grow as Saudi ties strengthen

Malaysia’s growing ties to Saudi Arabia – and its puritan Salafi-Wahhabi Islamic doctrines – are coming under new scrutiny as concerns grow over an erosion of traditional religious practices and culture in the multi-ethnic nation.  A string of recent events has … Continue reading

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HAMISH MCDONALD. Australia still on smoko over Asia.

When Malcolm Turnbull hosts the ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for an unusual summit in Sydney in March, the Australian public will know virtually nothing about most of them or the current state of affairs in … Continue reading

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CLIVE KESSLER. Old enemies reconcile as Malaysian elections near.

Malaysia’s fourteenth general elections are looming. This time, almost unprecedentedly, they will see the two great Malay political parties — the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) — working implicitly as allies, not rivals. 

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CAVAN HOGUE. More blessed to give than to receive?

Provoking China to score cheap political points domestically does not advance Australian interests. While most Australians would prefer the US domestic political model to the Chinese, we are not going to change the Chinese system and so must learn to … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Australia charts a flawed foreign policy course

Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper sketches the global geopolitical transition with remarkable precision and elegance and the document is exceptionally strong on principles, rules and norms as the foundation of world order. The word “rules” is used 70 times, … Continue reading

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SANITSUDA EKACHAI. Why Buddhists fail simple test of compassion

When Pope Francis avoided addressing the Rohingya genocide directly during his recent Myanmar visit, questioning his silence is missing the crux of the problem.

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ANDREW FARRAN. An alternative perspective for a realistic defence policy for Australia

In defence terms how do we operate in a region where China will by 2030 have a GDP 25 times greater than ours and whose current military expenditure is already 25 times greater, when the US will be concentrating increasingly … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Confecting a new China hysteria.

Australia’s diplomacy with its Asian neighbours and contenders has always been awkward. In a similar manner to Britain’s awkward partnering with Europe, so Australia is Asia’s awkward partner. In the past we could calm our fears by relying on great … Continue reading

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MARGARET BEAVIS. Will the Nobel Peace Prize change Australia’s double speak?

On December 10th the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons –  which was founded here in Melbourne in 2006. The Nobel Committee made the award “for its work to draw attention … Continue reading

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