Category Archives: Asia

DAVID DODWELL. Keep Calm and carry on amid the current state of the trade war, for time is on China’s side. (South China Morning Post 16.9.2018)

Over the weekend, Donald Trump’s trade team invited Beijing to fresh trade talks. Almost simultaneously, tweets from the White House cast doubt on the talks. Is this “good cop, bad cop” tactics? Or routine erratic signalling? How is one to … Continue reading

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WANNING SUN. Blind Spots in Australia’s Soft Power Strategies.

Blessed with an enviable healthy and relaxed lifestyle, beautiful landscape, and clean environment, Australia has rich soft power assets and resources. Yet, more than ever before, Australia faces unprecedented challenges in its soft power efforts. The China factor cannot be … Continue reading

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JOSEPH NYE. The two sides of American exceptionalism (Project Syndicate, 5.09.18)

In July, I joined 43 other scholars of international relations in paying for a newspaper advertisement arguing that the US should preserve the current international order. The institutions that make up this order have contributed to “unprecedented levels of prosperity … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. Prometheus bound: How China’s power is constrained

The more Australia positions itself as if there is only a binary choice between US or Chinese hegemonic influence in the region, the more likely conflict becomes.

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PETER JANSSEN. Wealth gap remains under Thai junta rule.

PM Prayut Chan-ocha vowed to tackle the kingdom’s politicized income inequality but has failed to pass a redistributive land tax that would hit elite holdings

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Religious Persecution and Home Churches in China.

When will they ever learn? The best tonic to stir up religious fervor and greater commitment in a totalitarian society is to persecute believers. 

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VIPS STEERING GROUP. Trump should involve himself in worsening Syria crisis

Respected US public interest  group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) has issued a public warning that uncontrolled escalation of the final battle for Idlib in Syria is worsening the risk of direct US-Russian military clash there. They appeal to … Continue reading

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HUMPHREY HAWKSLEY. US-led Indo-Pacific alliance against China is an outdated idea (Nikkei Asian Review, 03.09.18)

Asia should avoid being divided by Sino-American rivalry.

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CLIVE HAMILTON. None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See

Jocelyn Chey has a bee in her bonnet. In a series of articles on this blog she has repeatedly characterised my book, Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia, as anti-Chinese. In her latest attack, she claims that I engage in … Continue reading

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WANNING SUN. Reasons aplenty for China’s ban of the ABC.

As a form of symbolism, banning a website works much more effectively than conventional expressions of official displeasure such as flexing military muscles, cancelling a trade deal, recalling a country’s ambassador or refusing a foreign correspondent’s visa.

Posted in Asia, Media | 4 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. India’s VIP culture: Forget Lincoln’s definition of democracy. India’s government is of VIPs, by VIPs and for VIPs (Times of India, 04.090.18)

Last week, the Madras high court ordered the National Highways Authority of India to separate ordinary citizens from VIPs at toll gates, with a dedicated lane for the latter. Of course, high court judges are included in the list of … Continue reading

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JOCELYN CHEY. Chung Kuo, Cina: Déjà Vu.

The ABC has been off-line in China since 22 August and press reports speculate that the Chinese ban is retaliation for Canberra’s decision on foreign investment in the telecommunication industry, which effectively bars China’s telecom giant Huawei from participating in … Continue reading

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WILLIAM CASE. UMNO’s ethnoreligious order is not gone — just waiting.

Malaysia’s new Pakatan Harapan government rode to power on a pledge to clean up Malaysia’s foul politics. It was wise to focus on the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional’s transgressions: Pakatan’s appeal lay less in its own glowing imagery and manifesto than … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. A done deal – or a deal not yet done?

Trying to do business in Java on a Friday is seldom a good idea.  The chantings that Prime Minister Scott Morrison heard mid-morning last Friday were not part of the standard welcome to overseas VIPs, but calling the faithful to … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Payne can give proper attention to Asia that Bishop failed to do- (Crikey)

Australia’s new Foreign Minister Marise Payne has plenty to learn from Julie Bishop’s significant missteps — and indeed non-steps — in the same role.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

ANTHONY PUN. How do the Chinese settlers in Australia feel regarding the deepening dispute between China and Australia?

The “China Panic”, a phrase coined by Professor Bob Carr, ex-Australian Foreign Minister and Director of Australian China Relations Institute (ACRI), started in December 2016 when the media and the Turnbull government started to “bash” China starting with a media … Continue reading

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E. TAMMY KIM. Moon Over Korea (New York Review of Books 16.08.18 Issue)

Moon Jae-in eui Unmyeong [The Destiny of Moon Jae-in] by Moon Jae-in Seoul: Bookpal, 488 pp., ₩15,000 In Singapore on June 12, as Donald Trump vigorously shook hands with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, the man behind this improbable meeting leaned … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY. A journey with urban refugees in Bangkok.

Some days I feel like a people trafficker, though I’m not making a zack out of the trafficking. Other days I see myself as a latter-day Oskar Schindler. But mostly I just feel trapped along with the 1000 refugees and … Continue reading

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JAMES KYNGE. The US cannot halt China’s march to global tech supremacy.

The moment may one day be glorified in propaganda art. As the mist rolled off the Yangtze River, Xi Jinping stood on top of the Three Gorges hydropower dam in Yichang, a proud symbol of engineering prowess, and proclaimed that … Continue reading

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DAVID HUTT. Does China really dominate Southeast Asia?

Widespread reports of China’s hegemony over the neighbouring region miss the nuance of fast-shifting political and strategic dynamics. 

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IAN BUCKLEY.Historical Light on Current Aims to Attack Iran

This article highlights the vitally important role played by former US intelligence officers to prevent ongoing illegal regime changes across the world, presently Iran. Then, to better understand current examples, it explores their historical origins, consequences and possible remedies aimed … Continue reading

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FENG ZHAUKUI. Joining B&R can open up new opportunities for Japan.

Recently, more and more Japanese companies have taken actions that show their positive attitude about participating in the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, and Japanese leaders have also made some positive gestures. 

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TIM LINDSEY. Jokowi’s deputy pick confirms rise of conservative Islam in Indonesia

The selection of the controversial and highly conservative head of the Indonesian Ulama Council as Jokowi’s vice presidential running mate is disturbing. It reveals Jokowi’s lack of political authority and is yet another demonstration of increasing intolerance among Indonesian Muslims.

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NASSRINE AZIMI. Rethinking Our National Holidays?

I often ask my students to think what it means to live in a country with a constitution that prohibits wars of aggression, and removes from national priorities war-mongering discourses, distractions and impulses?

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RAMESH THAKUR. Japan’s nuclear options.

Hiroshima was the first city in the world to be attacked by an atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. The last time that an atomic weapon was used was to bomb Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. By the end of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOSEPH E STIGLITZ. The US is at Risk of Losing a Trade War with China.

The “best” outcome of President Donald Trump’s narrow focus on the US trade deficit with China would be improvement in the bilateral balance, matched by an increase of an equal amount in the deficit with some other country (or countries). … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Australia draws line under anti-China hysteria. Will it be enough to unfreeze relations? (South China Morning Post 11.08.18)

Bob Carr says Malcolm Turnbull’s reset of relations with China was inevitable, as the fears his government has allowed to spread – about Chinese money in Australia’s democracy and China’s growing influence in the region – had little substance, and … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR and RICHARD BUTLER. A spying scandal exposes Australia’s immoral behavior toward East Timor (Washington Post, 10.08.18)

Australia is leading the Western world in enacting tough new laws to curb foreign interference and influence-peddling in domestic affairs. The primary intended target is China.

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. An Updated Approach to Australia’s Engagement in the Asia and the South West Pacific.

The Australian Government and the Opposition must now base policy on three realities, namely that; (a)     Trump is essentially a unilateralist, despite the contradictory comments he often makes; (b)     United States involvement in Asia and the South West Pacific will … Continue reading

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NICK BISLEY. Is there a problem with… the Quad?

At the sidelines of the 2017 East Asia Summit (EAS) in Manila, senior officials from Australia, India, Japan and the United States’ respective foreign ministries met under the aegis of the ‘Australia-India-Japan- United States consultations on the Indo-Pacific’. This was … Continue reading

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