Category Archives: Asia

RAMESH THAKUR. Nuclear arms treaty and umbrella states (Japan Times 12 Sep)

In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan noted the nuclear emperor had no clothes: “The only value in our two nations [United States and Soviet Union] possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would … Continue reading

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NICOLA NYMALM. Washington’s old ‘Japan problem’ and the current ‘China threat’ (East Asia Forum 11 Sep)

In April 2019, Kiron Skinner — former director of policy planning at the US State Department — described Washington’s new China strategy as built on the understanding that the current clash with Beijing ‘is a fight with a different civilization and a … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. PM in gaffe-strewn Indonesian TV interview

Scott Morrison has given a rambling error-littered interview to Indonesian TV where he fudged the figures of casualties in the 2002 Bali bomb blast. The Prime Minister told English-speaking journalist Andini Effendi that “more Indonesians were killed than Australians” when … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Media | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. Kashmir: the international dimension (Strategist 10 Sep 2019)

India’s decision last month to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy and statehood, break it into two union territories and merge them fully with the Indian union caught everyone unawares. The changes give effect to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s vision of India as one nation … Continue reading

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TSUYOSHI MINAMI. Are Japan and China really getting along? (East Asia Forum 7 Sep 2019)

Following the 2019 Osaka G20 summit, Japan–China relations appear to have entered a new period. While improved Japan–China ties are in the national interests of both countries, the ongoing US trade war with China is beginning to have significant effects … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. Indonesia’s Dr Strangelove takes final flight

Indonesia’s fourth president, the late Abdurrahman ‘Gus Dur’ Wahid, was never short of a quip. “First president (Soekarno, who had nine wives) was crazy about women. The second (Soeharto, who allegedly stole US$35 billion) was crazy about money.  The third (Habibie) … Continue reading

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RYAN MANUEL. The Hong Kong Government is as Leaderless as the Protesters (Foreign Policy, 5 September 2019)

A distant Beijing and a shifting protest movement make it hard to sit down at the bargaining table. Bruce Lee didn’t like conventional fighting styles, finding them too rigid. Instead, like jazz musicians with their scales, he took his many … Continue reading

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COLIN BROWN. The Indonesia-Australia Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA): A Game Changer? (Australian Outlook, 5 Sep 2019)

Despite their geographical proximity, Australia and Indonesia are minor trading partners. In 2018, Australian merchandise exports to Indonesia were valued at just $6,823 million, and imports from Indonesia $4,996 million. Trade in services was smaller still, as the exports to … Continue reading

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YVES TIBERGHIEN. Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong: Toward a BRI 2.0? (Australian Outlook, 5 Sep 2019)

From 11 to 12 September 2019, the fourth Edition of the Hong Kong Belt and Road Summit is due to take place at the Wanchai Convention Center. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is now in its sixth year since … Continue reading

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HAIQING YU. Chinese students in Australia and our responsibility

The discourse on China’s influence in Australia has recently shifted its focus to Chinese students on Australian university campuses. They are seen as pro-Chinese Communist Party nationalists who sing the Chinese national anthem and shout profane abuse at pro-Hong Kong-protest … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Education | 3 Comments

PEPE ESCOBAR. Welcome to the Indo-Russia maritime Silk Road (Asia Times, 5 Sep 2019)

There’s no way to follow the complex inner workings of the Eurasia integration process without considering what takes place annually at the Eastern Economic Forumin Vladivostok.

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GEOFF RABY. The end of Hong Kong as we know it (AFR 6 Sep 2019)

Tragically, the turmoil in Hong Kong can only end badly.  No good outcomes are available to the participants.  Whatever happens, Hong Kong will never be the same again.  2046, the last year of the 50-year transition, will begin once the … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Congress’s choice: Does it want to go for a Gandhi-mukt Congress or a Congress-mukt Bharat? (Times of India 31.8.2019)

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ANDREW SHENG, XIAO GENG. Hong Kong’s Real Problem Is Inequality (Project Syndicate 29-8-19)

A powerful, but oft-ignored factor underlying the frustrations of Hong Kong’s people is inequality. And, contrary to the prevailing pro-democracy narrative, the failure of Hong Kong’s autonomous government to address the problem stems from the electoral politics to which the … Continue reading

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SCOTT BURCHILL. Resuscitating Sinophobia in Australia.

Sinophobia has a long history in the West, especially in Washington. It has always contained xenophobia, racism and Cold War animus in roughly equal parts. In Washington’s China, James Peck documents how since the 1950s, the national security establishment in … Continue reading

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MINXIN PEI – An interview on China and Hong Kong (Project Syndicate 26-8-2019)

Many Chinese are deeply conflicted:they may not like the CPC, but they are proud of their country and resent outside criticisms.

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RAMESH THAKUR. Urgent appeal to save nuclear agreements (Japan Times 25-8-19)

HIROSHIMA – The Hiroshima Round Table held its seventh annual meeting last Wednesday and Thursday. For the first time, in recognition of the uniquely dangerous international security environment since the dawn of the atomic age in this beautiful city, the … Continue reading

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ARTYOM LUKIN. China and Russia’s sky-high strategy (East Asia Forum 29-8-19)

On 23 July 2019, Russian and Chinese warplanes — long-range nuclear-capable bombers accompanied by fighter jets and surveillance aircraft — conducted a ‘joint patrol’ over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan. This marked the first ever joint … Continue reading

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JOHN McCARTHY. Forging a national consensus on Australia’s external security (The Strategist, 19 Aug 2019)

With the federal election out of the way, and some welcome stability in the leadership of the major political parties in prospect, Australia now faces the challenge of forging a national consensus on an external security policy that reflects our … Continue reading

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MARTIN JACQUES HK’s future lies with China, not the West: (Peoples Daily Online 19-8-19)

As protests in Hong Kong continue, scholars and experts worldwide have expressed their concern over the city’s economic recession and rising violence. During an exclusive interview with People’s Daily Online, Martin Jacques, a senior fellow at Cambridge University, called for … Continue reading

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PETER LEWIS. When it comes to choosing the US or China, perhaps our chickens are coming home to roost (The Guardian 20-8-19)

Essential poll finds Australians less emphatically American than many would have predicted – is economic self-interest winning?

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MUNGO MACCALUM. Scott Morrison voted off the Pacific islands

The Great White Father has arrived the far flung atolls of the Pacific. And, like the missionaries before him Scott Morrison is delivering the bringing of the light — a gospel of hope and salvation. Well, up to a point. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Environment and climate, International Affairs | 1 Comment

GEOFF RABY.  Our China Threat is based on a fundamental error (Australian Financial Review, 19 August 2019)

Andrew Hastie’s intervention on the China Threat helpfully highlights the extent to which Australia’s intelligence, security and defence establishment (ISDE) is running Australia’s China foreign policy.   In stark language he has laid out many of the assumptions that underly the … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Things haven’t been this bad between Australia and China in 30 years (Crikey, 14 August 2019)

The Morrison government’s increasing ties to the Trump administration is, by consequence, achieving quite the opposite of its previous goal of “resetting” Australia’s relationship with China.

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GREGG BRAZINSKY. How Japan’s failure to atone for past sins threatens the global economy (The Washington Post 11-8-19)

Escalating trade tensions could roil global tech market

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DENNIS ARGALL Hong Kong and Londonderry and the global crowding of everything.

The uproar in Hong Kong has become very serious, with a situation as developed in 1989 before Tiananmen: of leaders unable to cope and an uprising implacable in resolve and unable to focus on achievable objectives. The comparison should not … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison prepares for war

Scott Morrison is not too keen on history.When it comes to politics – or at least the politics of the Liberal Party, which to him is all that matters – history began with his election as Prime Minister. Everything that … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 13 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM All hail, Queen Mega

This week Indonesian streets are bursting with red and white bunting, celebrating the late leader Soekarno’s proclamation of independence from the Netherlands on 17 August 1945. Then followed a four- year protracted guerilla war against the stubborn Dutch who couldn’t … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. Let Hong Kong people decide their own fate with China

If we want to see Hong Kong survive the One Country Two System and retain its form of democracy, then we must not interfere with their process.  External influence and funding have been reported but these activities only serve to … Continue reading

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RAYMOND ZHONG. Vietnam is gathering the spoils of a trade war (The New York Times International)

  No country on earth has benefited from President Trump’s trade fight with China more than Vietnam.

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