Category Archives: Asia

JAMES LAURENCESON. Reality check on finding new export markets: China’s demand dwarfs the rest (SMH 28.5.20)

It might be conventional wisdom that Australia needs to diversify its trade and reduce dependence on China. There is, however, no magic button that delivers it. No trade delegation to New Delhi or Jakarta is going to pick up a … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Economy | 5 Comments

DANG CAM TU.The Virus and Regional Order: Perspectives from Asia and beyond .

A ‘self-help’ state is back, and nationalism, populism, xenophobia, trade, and territorial disputes are on the rise.

Posted in Asia | 1 Comment

SHEILA SMITH. US pandemic politics spells trouble for its Asian partners (EAF 24.5.20)

The Trump administration’s lack of interest in a global response to COVID-19, or even extending a helping hand to its allies and partners, is bringing home the possibility that US leadership may be gone for good. Beyond exposing a diminished … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics, World Affairs | Comments Off on SHEILA SMITH. US pandemic politics spells trouble for its Asian partners (EAF 24.5.20)

BOB CARR. Hidden Reality of Australia-China Relations

The best reading on the state of Australia-China relations is in documents we can’t see. That is, in the cables sent from Canberra to their capitals by ambassadors of Asian nations.

Posted in Asia, Politics | 5 Comments

COLIN MACKERRAS. The mess of Australia-China relations

The downward spiral in Australia-China relations must stop. The Australian government must take a lead towards a major and long overdue reset.

Posted in Asia | 6 Comments

JOCELYN CHEY.  Marsupial Madness and the Batty Media

Reliable sources of information on Australian ties with China do not include the ultra-nationalistic PRC Global Times when it applauds Australia receiving a “slap to the face,” or the Vision Times, which reports that people have recovered from COVID-19 after … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Media | 5 Comments

MARK J VALENCIA. To Reduce Tensions in the South China Sea, the Ball is in America’s Court

The solution to the South China Sea imbroglio lies with the US, not China.

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 5 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM If Bali lets you in – will Oz let you back?

When is a pandemic suppression order not a lockdown? When it’s in Indonesia.

Posted in Asia, Politics | Comments Off on DUNCAN GRAHAM If Bali lets you in – will Oz let you back?

JOCELYN CHEY. Hong Kong’s Fate in the Balance

A national security bill for Hong Kong will be put to the National People’s Congress (NPC) now meeting in Beijing. This aims to end an impasse in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, which has never passed local legislation to enact Article … Continue reading

Posted in Asia | 8 Comments

JOSEPH A. CAMILLERI. Can we rescue the China relationship from the abyss?

For some time now we have been routinely mishandling our relations with China. Our petulant demand for an international Covid-19 inquiry, whose thinly veiled purpose was to point the finger at Beijing’s misdeeds, is the latest in a long series … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 5 Comments

HAMISH MCDONALD. Journalists on the ramparts (Inside Story 20.5.20)

Another triumph for Canberra and the Morrison government’s deft and resolute diplomacy, it would seem. Support for an inquiry into Covid-19 from more than half of the 194 countries at the World Health Assembly in Geneva was “a major strategic … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics, World Affairs | 6 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Coronavirus data prove Australia is in Asia

Cross-jurisdiction comparisons are notoriously difficult and it’s almost impossible to prove lockdowns have saved lives, except by falling back tautologically on the epidemiological model’s own projections of mortality figures with no lockdown.

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 7 Comments

PAUL PERVERSI. Understanding anti-China Bias and other prejudices

Recent articles in Pearls and Irritations, such as those by Paul Malone, James Curran, Ramesh Thakur and Mike Scrafton, have highlighted the nonsensical nature of much analysis, reporting and opinion, particularly in relation to a trenchant and sustained bias against … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics, World Affairs | 30 Comments

HENRY REYNOLDS. Between America and China?

 In his Lowy lecture delivered in Sydney last October Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared that ‘Australia does not have to choose between the United States and China.’

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 13 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. Blame – don’t shame

It’s warming to see Australians helping jobless Balinese felled by Covid-19 with tuckerbags as hotels shut and tourists flee. One donor called it her ‘moral obligation’, a commendable motive.

Posted in Asia, Politics, World Affairs | 1 Comment

ANTHONY PUN and KA SING CHUA. Don’t be duped by biased media, reporters and political commentators

We argue for a more independent Australian foreign policy as former Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd have advocated.

Posted in Asia, Media | 1 Comment

GREG WOOD. Pretext Protectionists and Other Viruses

A growing list of countries is encountering unilateral trade restrictions as China becomes ever more prone to applying them for both protectionist and political reasons.

Posted in Asia, Economy, World Affairs | 4 Comments

JUSTIN O’CONNOR. The domestic agenda for Australia’s anti-China rhetoric

Australia’s anti-China rhetoric is not just about foreign policy. In demonising China as a malign communist power it distracts us from looking at what ails Western liberal democracies, presenting us with a stultifying either/or.

Posted in Asia, Politics | 9 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. When in doubt, think up a number

Indonesia’s second president General Soeharto had a fix-all to calm restless citizens demanding improvements. He’d pronounce a numbered plan.

Posted in Asia, Health | 1 Comment

JAMES CURRAN. Canberra’s wolverines threaten our connection (AFR 8.5.20)

Beijing deserves scrutiny for little transparency amid the pandemic, but Australia’s proposal for an inquiry is badly timed.

Posted in Asia, Health, World Affairs | 7 Comments

AURELIA GEORGE MULGAN. COVID-19 highlights Abe’s leadership failings (EAF 5.5.20)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s leadership capacity is being called into question in relation to how he is dealing with Japan’s COVID-19 crisis.

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | Comments Off on AURELIA GEORGE MULGAN. COVID-19 highlights Abe’s leadership failings (EAF 5.5.20)

RAMESH THAKUR. Sound the Trumpists: The deputy sheriff rides again – Part Three: Goading the dragon

Cockwomblette: A neologism coined to describe the lesser antipodean cousin of the cockwomble (see Monday’s Part One). Its natural habitat is the bush capital of the world; the inheritor of an obsequious line of deputy sheriffs.

Posted in Asia, Health, Public Policy, World Affairs | 2 Comments

PAUL PERVERSI. An Open Letter to the ABC regarding its coverage of China in the recent past.

As a long-term consumer ABC services, I acknowledge its great achievements over the decades, despite the occasional skeleton in the closet, such as the Lateline story that sparked the Northern Territory intervention. I am very concerned, though, that in 2020 … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Media, World Affairs | 10 Comments

WILLIAM BRIGGS. What Drives Peter Hartcher

Peter Hartcher, the Sydney Morning Herald’s international editor, maintains an indefatigable but entirely unedifying assault on China. He is by no means alone in vitriolic attacks.

Posted in Asia, Politics, World Affairs | 19 Comments

GEOFF RABY. PM’s Virus Inquiry was a Lose-Lose Call (AFR 4.5.20)

The Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister have handily demonstrated over the past fortnight how not to get an international inquiry into the origins and early management, or mismanagement, of COVID-19.  It has been a useful lesson for students of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Health, Politics, World Affairs | 3 Comments

BRUCE W. JENTLESON. Compete with China, but No New Cold War

The balance to be struck is to confront China as warranted, compete as necessary, and cooperate when possible

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN McCARTHY. COVID-19 , Trump, Xi and Canberra(AFR 22.4.2020)

Australia’s decision to spearhead an international enquiry into the origins of the Covid19 pandemic –read China’s lack of transparency and the WHO’s mistakes –is a nice hoary bellow from our domestic political ramparts, but it is a policy mistake.

Posted in Asia, Health | 19 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. Mobocracy rules in Indonesia.

The videos are ghastly. Young men stripped to the waist, roped together in a line, shuffling forward on their knees. Their bodies are bruised and bloodied, their smashed faces creased with fear. They’re not just the victims of kampong rough … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics, World Affairs | 3 Comments

Kim Jong un letter to Donald Trump

Joke of the day

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KEANE & HAIQING YU. Chinese culture and the power of digital platforms

Despite massive investment in soft power by the Chinese Party-state over the past decade, the influence of China’s culture in Southeast Asia and Australia remains relatively weak.

Posted in Asia | 4 Comments