Category Archives: Asia

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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MERRIDEN VARRALL. Chinese student furore reveals Australia’s poor integration strategy

Why does Australia encourage international — including Chinese — students to study within its borders? Australian universities are about teaching and learning, but they need to be properly resourced to do so, so one reason for encouraging foreign students is … Continue reading

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PENNY WONG. FutureAsia – Engaging with China (A speech to the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Canberra, 16 October 2017)

Last month, my friend and colleague Chris Bowen, the Shadow Treasurer, delivered a major speech to the Asia Society in Sydney.  In it he outlined Labor’s approach to Asia. FutureAsia will be a whole-of-government framework underpinning our efforts to deepen and broaden … Continue reading

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IAN MACPHEE. In Defence of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Rohingya crisis in Rakhine state in Myanmar (formerly Burma), one  of the most unknown situations in the world, is now dominating daily news worldwide. Many commentators have rushed to judgment about the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Five Steps to Peace in Myanmar

The bloodshed in Myanmar has uprooted hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya, eroded the prestige of government leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and damaged the credibility of ASEAN and the United Nations. The crisis can be resolved, but not without … Continue reading

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