Category Archives: Asia

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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BRIAN TOOHEY. The US doesn’t need Asia

The US doesn’t need to be the dominant power in Asia to maintain its own national security. No amount of wishful thinking can negate this key insight from Hugh White, a leading professor of strategic studies, about the government’s latest … Continue reading

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LARRY JAGAN. Suu Kyi should heed Pope’s suggestion on UN role

Pope Francis’ visit to Myanmar last week was an overwhelming success and may provide the much needed spark to ignite the government’s peace process and its efforts to bring reconciliation to the country’s violence-torn western region of Rakhine. The Pope’s … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Truth is not an excuse.

If ASIO bugged Mr Huang’s phone, and sat on what it knew, the political timing of the latest leak against Dastyari could not have been more deliberate.

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security | 2 Comments

JAMES O’NEILL. The North Korean situation requires a different policy

It is said that one definition of insanity is to repeat the same process over and over again and expect a different result. That axiom was never truer than when it is applied to United States and Australian policy towards … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. North Korea joins the club

North Korea (DPRK) has made clear that it expects recognition as a nuclear weapon state (NWS). It has now implied, like most existing NWS, that it would follow a policy of “no first use”. US policy continues to be that … Continue reading

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FRAN MARTIN. Overstating Chinese influence in Australian universities

Both Australia’s national government and its security agency ASIO have expressed concerns over the influence that the Chinese government exerts on Chinese student groups studying at Australian universities. They have also accused Beijing of using those groups to spy on … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Education, International Affairs | 3 Comments

MARK BEESON: When worlds collide: The unlikely relationship between Australia and China

The debate about Australia’s relationship with China is characterized by a degree of mutual incomprehension born of difference. Both sides share some of the blame for the current bilateral tensions.

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Did Pope Francis succeed in Myanmar?

Myanmar’s neighbours were watching closely the Pope’s visit, worried that the shocking treatment of the Rohingya Muslims could inflame inter-religious conflicts throughout the region. Francis has intervened personally to promote deeper mutual understanding among the major religions, urging them to … Continue reading

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HUGH WHITE. The White Paper’s grand strategic fix: Can Australia achieve an Indo-Pacific pivot?

By far the most important and sobering part of the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper is Figure 2.4. It offers the Treasury’s estimates of the sizes of the region’s key economies in 2030. They are calculated in purchasing power parity … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. The White Paper – a curate’s egg?

There is much to be commended in the Government’s White Paper but there are some assumptions which need to be questioned. The focus on Asia is welcome and most of the analysis of our changing world is good, in particular … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. A whitewash rather than a white paper on how we go to war

The ‘organising principle’ of the 2017 foreign policy White Paper is the importance of and commitment to a rules-based order. At the heart of that order lies the United Nations and “Australia is a principled and pragmatic member of the … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper : An urgent case for genuine change management !

The White Paper provides a long overdue but commendable assessment of the extensive challenges and opportunities for Australian foreign policy. It should have formed the basis for considered parliamentary debate. Unfortunately, while acknowledging for the first time the extent and … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. The complacency of the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

The 2017 White Paper displays, yet again, Australia’s foreign policy complacency, its misplaced middle power imagining, and its awkward partnering in its region. It is a failure as a strategic map for advancing Australia’s security and prosperity in the “Indo-Pacific” … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Foreign Policy White Paper: Faulty roadmap in a GPS world.

While the Australian government’s Foreign Policy White Paper was at the printers, it was being overtaken by events.

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GREG WOOD. The Australian Dream: Many Belts Many Roads.

The ALP has indicated that, if elected, it will consider positively China’s so called One Belt One Road initiative. The ambition of BRI is vast. It would reshape global trade, transport and logistics in a China-centric way to meet that … Continue reading

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MAX HAYTON. New Zealand’s new government sets fast pace

A contention that New Zealand has “lapped” Australia is worth examining in the light of recent developments.  The vote to support sex marriage means Australia has increased its pace, but has it caught up?

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RICHARD BUTLER. Eat Your Heart out Marco Polo

“They say in the history of people coming to China, there’s been nothing like that. And I believe it”… President Donald Trump speaking about his Asian travels, to journalists on Airforce One, en route to Hanoi.

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ANDREW FARRAN. Eternal vigilance or eternal military deployments?

Prime Minister Turnbull recently visited the Philippines to attend regional economic and trade talks attended also by US President Trump. Given the presence of both, what do we know about their commitment of military assistance to their host, President Duterte … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security | 4 Comments

LOUIS COOPER. Trudeau made ‘fall guy’ for TPP ‘sabotage’

Last Friday, the small group of Canadian ministers, travelling South-East Asia with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, were in Da Nang, Vietnam, in a room away from where the leaders of 11 countries were trying to get agreement for the Trans-Pacific … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Economy, International Affairs, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

MARTY NATALEGAWA. The Menadue Oration-“Can Democracy Deliver?”

Inaugural Menadue Oration of the Centre for Policy Development (CPD), delivered in Melbourne on 2 November 2017,the tenth anniversary of the establishment of CPD. John Menadue was the founding Chair. Can democracy deliver?  As one who has traversed Indonesia’s now … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s gulag of shame

Manus Island detainees are back in the news. In this article published more than a year ago, in the Japan Times, Ramesh Thakur asks: Do Australian Cabinet ministers and departmental heads really value their jobs, and the power and perks … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Human Rights, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

TRAVERS McLEOD. Patient policy-making for a region on the move.

There are no quick fixes for a crisis like the forced displacement of Myanmar’s Rohingya, but a new collaboration has been preparing the way for an effective regional approach. 

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JOSEPH CAMILLERI. For our misdeeds in Korea we shall pay dearly

The result of the recent snap election called by Shinzo Abe and Japan’s steady military build-up are a portent of things to come. The Korean crisis, which owes at least as much to Washington’s flexing of military muscle as to … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Multiple risks and limited options on the Korean peninsula

By 2020, North Korea will either be a post-atomic wasteland; an active war zone; or a de facto nuclear-armed state with a fully developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability, and grudgingly accepted as such. To paraphrase Churchill’s familiar bon mot … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH. Seven days in Peking, 40 years ago.

Pearls and Irritations has printed memoirs of mine to mark the 50th anniversary of two notable news assignments: one was the Six-Day War, the other was a trip across the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. This … Continue reading

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STUART HARRIS. The US and North Korea: the importance of history.

North Korea’s belligerent missile tests have given rise to fears that the hardening rhetoric on both sides will lead to military conflict involving nuclear weapons.  These fears have resulted in moves to moderate this tension by some of the players, … Continue reading

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JULIE BISHOP. Foreign policy in an uncertain world.

“We have an independent foreign policy and we do not outsource our decisions to other countries.”  Julie Bishop Yesterday, we posted a speech by Shadow Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, ‘Engaging with China’. Today we post a presentation by Foreign Minister Julie … Continue reading

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