Category Archives: Asia

MOTOKO RICH. ‘We Are Koreans’: Diaspora in Japan Looks to Trump-Kim Summit With Hope (New York Times).

 Every time Jiro Oshima wants to see his siblings, he must travel to North Korea.

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DAVID HUTT, PHNOM PENH. Vietnam’s new view of an old war (Asia Times).

Hanoi marked the 40th anniversary of its bloody 1979 border war with China with unprecedented candor, a revisionist reflection of declining contemporary ties

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RAMESH THAKUR. Reasons for cautious optimism in Hanoi (The Japan Times).

Americans seem to be afflicted by a curious historical amnesia. The facts are indisputable. The number of non-nuclear countries to have been attacked and invaded by the United States since 1945 is legion. Conversely, not one country with the bomb … Continue reading

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ERIK PAUL. Resurgent racism in Australia’s foreign policy.

Australia’s banning Huawei points to a resurgent racism in foreign relations. Australian foreign policy should disengage from the military alliance with the US and adopt a more sustainable economy and independent foreign policy. 

Posted in Asia | 6 Comments

PATRICK JORY. Explaining a Thai royal’s aborted electoral debut (East Asia Forum).

On 8 February 2019, Thai Raksa Chart (a Thai political party aligned with exiled, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra) made the bombshell announcement that it was nominating King Vajiralongkorn’s elder sister, Ubolratana, as its candidate for prime minister. Late that … Continue reading

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MOBO GAO. The Chinese United Front Strategy: Its History and Present.

Amidst the fear of political interference of the Chinese government there is often a reference to one organ of the Chinese State, i.e., the United Front (UF). In some Australian news stories about the China, UF is sometimes dangled to … Continue reading

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HUGH WHITE. The US shouldn’t go to war with China over Taiwan—and nor should Australia (ASPI: THE STRATEGIST, 13 Feb 2019)

Paul Dibb, in his recent Strategist post, writes that America’s strategic position in Asia would be fatally undermined if it didn’t go to war with China if China attacked Taiwan, and that Australia’s alliance with America would be fatally undermined if we didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

CHRISTIAN SORACE. From the Outside Looking In: A Response to John Garnaut’s Primer on Ideology (Made in China, 7.2.2019)

An introduction by Mobo Gao, Chair of Chinese Studies, Department of Asian Studies, University of Adelaide. The article below is a response by Christian Solace, an American academic, to a speech given at an internal Australian government seminar in August 2017 … Continue reading

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SHEILA A. SMITH. US policy in Asia heads from bad to worse.

If the past year is any indication of the year ahead, US policy in Asia will be erratic and self-serving. The beginnings of an Indo-Pacific strategy notwithstanding, the Trump administration continues to work out its issues with countries in the region bilaterally … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. A relapse of China panic.

Three media reports in the Sydney Morning Herald could be seen as a “Relapse of the China Panic” since it went into remission last December.  It came in a period where Chinese Australians celebrate the Lunar New Year and indeed … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS : Chinese view of Second Trump:Kim Summit

Given the key role which President Xi has played in the negotiating process between President Trump and Chairman Kim a recent analysis in the Global Times (published by the People’s Daily) provides some valuable Chinese insights into the prospects for … Continue reading

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ELENA COLLINSON. What A Labor Victory Might Mean For Australian Foreign Policy (Council on Foreign Relations).

A federal election is due this year in Australia. While the Liberal-National Coalition government has yet to formally announce a polling day, the stage has effectively been set for a May election. According to Australian law, May 18 is the … Continue reading

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WANNING SUN AND HAIQING YU. WeChat, the Federal Election, and the Danger of Insinuative Journalism

A story appeared recently in The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) with an eye-catching title: ‘Warning WeChat could spread Chinese propaganda during federal election’. By linking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda with a forthcoming Australian election, the story draws heavily on … Continue reading

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ISHAAN THAROOR. The lesson of Davos: – China has arrived (Washington Post 25 January 2019).

“Can we live in a world where America is still a strong power but doesn’t have the kind of primacy it had in the past?” asked Mahbubani. That’s a reality an “America First” administration is staunchly trying to resist. In … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Arrested Diplomacy (Project Syndicate).

The Japanese and Canadian governments have failed to manage effectively the reputational, economic, and geopolitical implications of the legal cases against Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. And, in a globalized world, the risks posed by such … Continue reading

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KISHORE MAHBUBANI. What China Threat? How the United States and China can avoid war. Harper Magazine 22 January 2019

Within about fifteen years, China’s economy will surpass America’s and become the largest in the world. As this moment approaches, meanwhile, a consensus has formed in Washington that China poses a significant threat to American interests and well-­being. General Joseph … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Corporate failure in Australia. They just don’t get it.

There is a growing and unfortunate litany of corporate failures in Australia – and not just the banks and energy suppliers. There is wage theft on a large scale. Instead of addressing their own obvious failures the BCA accuses its … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Economy, Industrial relations | 2 Comments

GEOFF RABY. China needs a grown-up foreign policy for a changed era.

At the key 19th Party Congress in October 2017, Xi Jinping set out his signature policy – Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era – which, unusually early on in his term, was inscribed into the Party’s Constitution as … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM When sinking looms, jump.

Imagine if almost six per cent of the Coalition reckoned they’d lose their seats at the next election so switch to Labor.  Chances are they wouldn’t be piped aboard, as ship jumpers are not favoured in Australian politics, distrusted by … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The unsettling reality if Five Eyes is the guardian against Huawei, Part 2: A survey audit concerning prudence, integrity, law and ethics.

In the frequent denunciations of Huawei and ZTE the inference is that these Chinese corporations are existing, or potential espionage agents of the Beijing Government and a threat to all who have been foolish enough to acquire their products.  These … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The unsettling reality if Five Eyes is the guardian against Huawei, Part 1: Questions of Honesty and Loyalty.

According to a recent assessment Australia is the world’s 11th most vulnerable country in terms of its exposure to internet security threat.  This is the general case.  The particular case, articulated by the Five Eyes signals intelligence agencies, is that China is to … Continue reading

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HUGH WHITE. The Costs of Containing China (East Asia Forum)

Washington’s policymakers at last understand that China is a serious strategic rival. For the first time since the Soviet collapse, they recognise that a major country is trying to expand its power and influence at the expense of US global … Continue reading

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CLIVE KESSLER. Mahathir’s deep dilemma for 2019 (ASIAN NIKKEI REVIEW).

Can he win over the dominant ethnic Malays and halt the growth of Islamist forces?

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CLIVE KESSLER. New hopes or old fears for Malaysia?

Against the odds, and against most informed predictions, Malaysia’s 14th general elections in May 2018 produced a change of government. The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition under Najib Razak, which had been in power since 1957, was ousted by the opposition … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. Xi Jinping’s Year of Living Dangerously.

2018 may well go down as a defining year for President Xi Jinping’s leadership – one that marks the beginning of the end for the “President for Life”.   President Xi began the year in full command of the country, seemingly … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit – Putting off the inevitable

The British Government is in total disarray, thrashing about for a way to minimise public outrage when the country crashes out of the EU without a deal on 29 March, which now appears inevitable. Its energies are now being devoted … Continue reading

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Hugh White: The New East Asian Jigsaw (The Straits Times (Singapore), Caixin Global (Beijing), 18.12.2018)

 If 2018 was the year of unscrambling, the next year will offer a clearer picture of how the U.S.-China power struggle has reshaped the region, with Taiwan being a potential flashpoint In 2018 all the big pieces in the East … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. ASEAN: Wethers, not rams.

Half a century ago five neighbouring nations got together with a set of fine ideals.  These included boosting economic growth, promoting peace and lifting living standards.  That was the excuse. The real purpose was to block the spread of Communism, … Continue reading

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SAM BATEMAN. Favourable currents for ASEAN–China relations in the South China Sea (East Asia Forum, 12 December 2018)

Despite increased friction between the United States and China, on balance, positive developments in the South China Sea outweighed negative ones this year.

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JEFFREY D. SACHS. The War on Huawei (Project Syndicate, 11.12.18)

The Trump administration’s conflict with China has little to do with US external imbalances, closed Chinese markets, or even China’s alleged theft of intellectual property. It has everything to do with containing China by limiting its access to foreign markets, … Continue reading

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