Category Archives: International Affairs

JOCELYN CHEY. One Two,Buckle my Seatbelt; Hong Kong’s Special Status

The world has changed hugely since 1984. China of course has grown richer and more powerful. Since Xi Jinping was made Party and state leader in 2013 it has changed in more sinister ways. He has increased central control and … Continue reading

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HOWARD FRENCH. US at war with itself over China (World Politics Review, 31 July 2019)

America’s foreign policy establishment is at war with itself over the shape of the country’s approach toward a steadily rising China. For now, it is only an epistolary war. But as the debate deepens, its outcome will go far toward … Continue reading

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MICHAEL HIRSH. Boris and Donald’s Wrecking Ball (Foreign Policy)

It will be a new sort of “special relationship” as the men who lead the U.S. and the U.K. work to undo what their predecessors built after World War II.

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EDWARD WONG. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israel and Iran and The Rapture. (NYT 30.3.2019)

Yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had dinner with  Scott Morrison.  They both believe in The Rapture when Christ will return to Israel with Jerusalem as its capital.  Importantly at the moment we are being urged to join forces … Continue reading

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STEPHEN S. ROACH. China’s Long View (Project Syndicate 26.7.2019)

Time and again, the long view in China has stood in sharp contrast to America’s short-term approach. Sun Tzu put it best in his ancient treatise, The Art of War: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need … Continue reading

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BINOY KAMPMARK. Militarizing Australia: Talisman Sabre and the US Military Build Up (American Herald Tribune)

Deemed the Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations strategy, the military method is a US Marine special, still spanking new, featuring “the amphibious landing of troops on islands for seizure and capture as part of a forward projection of sea and air … Continue reading

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YANIS VAROUFAKIS. Jeremy Corbyn’s Finest Hour? (Project Syndicate 30.7.2019)

With Boris Johnson as UK prime minister, and his Brexit strategy crystal clear, the task of the Labour opposition is equally clear. It must expose the truth about Johnson’s no-deal option – namely, that it means a Trump-deal Brexit – … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER-Fake News, Alternative Facts and now Alternative Intelligence

Trump has terminated the supremo of US intelligence, John Coats, and has nominated as the new Director of National Intelligence, Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe. His unstinting commitment to all things Trump and, his inexperience in intelligence and foreign affairs, would … Continue reading

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GEORGE BROWNING. We are the company we keep – A theology of eating

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has announced he is to go to Washington to have dinner with President Trump. In the past such an invitation would be considered a great honour, especially as few other world leaders receive similar invitations. But … Continue reading

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CINDY YU. Is China Really the Enemy (The Spectator)

China is a nation with values deeply at odds with the West.

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ANDREW FARRAN. Boris will get his Brexit but at what cost?

Will PM Boris Johnson crash through and with what consequences if he does? He has set himself a wild challenge, on the level of do or die. Determined to achieve Brexit even without a deal, the likelihood at this stage … Continue reading

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WILLIAM D. HARTUNG. The US Military-Industrial Complex on Steroids (TomDispatch 16.7.2017)

When, in his farewell address in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the “unwarranted influence” wielded by the “military-industrial complex,” he could never have dreamed of an arms-making corporation of the size and political clout of Lockheed Martin. … Continue reading

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JOHN MCCARTHY. Enter, Boris.

Engaging in meetings and over dinner in London recently with British figures observing or involved in the Brexit process brought home that, while Australians follow the Brexit drama, we know little of its detail. We enjoy the sport, but try … Continue reading

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JAMES LAURENCESON. The efficacy of being very vocal: Australia and human rights in China (ACRI)

Last week’s news that the Australian Dr Yang Hengjun was being moved to a criminal facility in China was, to use Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s words, “deeply disappointing” to say the least.

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MOHAMMED AYOOB. An ally, a partner and American unilateralism: on the U.S. response to Turkey’s S-400 deal with Russia (The Hindu)

There are major differences but also similarities in the U.S.’ response to Russia’s S-400 deals with Turkey and India

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GREGORY CLARK. China: A Maritime expansionist?

The call is for Australia to cooperate with the US to counter Beijing’s allegedly expansionist activities in the South China Sea. But was it not the US itself, in its 1951 San Francisco peace treaty with Japan – signed and … Continue reading

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JESSICA CORBETT. Majorities of Both US Veterans and Public Believe Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ‘Not Worth Fighting’ (Common Dreams)

The polled groups also told the Pew Research Center that the U.S. military campaign in Syria wasn’t worthwhile

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CAVAN HOGUE. Where is Hong Kong going?

Current protests, including violence, present difficult decisions for the PRC and for Xi Jin Ping. The Hong Kong Government does not seem to be able to control things so what will Beijing do? No option provides a simple solution. 

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CHAULA RININTA ANINDYA. Should Indonesia accept Islamic State returnees? (East Asia Forum)

Indonesian former members of the so-called Islamic State (IS) stuck in Syria are now under the media spotlight. Many of them live in poor conditions, are struggling to make ends meet, expressing remorse for joining IS and pleading for the … Continue reading

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FINTAN O’TOOLE. Boris Johnson. The Ham of Fate (New York Review of Books, 17.7.2019)

When things are too serious to be contemplated in sobriety, send in the clown.

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RAMESH THAKUR. Boris Johnson’s Reticence on UK Ambassador was Responsible and Mature.

Johnson’s judicious refusal to be baited will give him the political space to begin repairing bruised relations with the White House and its tweet-prone cantankerous occupant.

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GEOFF RABY.  Xi Jinping: much more than just one man (The Interpreter, Lowy Institute, 16 July 2019)

Book Review: Xi Jinping: The Backlash by Richard McGregor (Penguin, Lowy Institute, 2019) Richard McGregor has written a dazzling account of the first six years of the Xi Jinping era and what he sees as the “backlash” to Xi’s increasing … Continue reading

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DOUGLAS NEWTON. ‘Fine phrases … dark thoughts’. Reflections on the Centenary of ‘Peace Day’, 19 July 1 919.

It is one hundred years since ‘Peace Day’, Saturday 19 July 1919. On that day, celebrations were held across the British Empire to toast the great victory that had been won – supposedly crowned by the Treaty of Versailles. A … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY.  The Problem with China’s Soft Power: It doesn’t have any( AFR 17 July 2017)

Last week the US Pace Gallery announced it was closing its flagship contemporary art gallery in the famous 798 art space and expanding at home.  Also last week, police squads and bulldozers moved in to demolish several more of Beijing’s … Continue reading

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BRUCE HAIGH. International Relations are foreign to Morrison

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison appears out of his depth with foreign policy. There is a readiness to follow Donald Trump. From the Middle East to China and the Pacific, Morrison gives the appearance of not having done his homework and … Continue reading

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HAJO DUKEN. Brexit, preservation of the UK union and a deep and special relationship with the EU – two out of thre e ain’t bad (but far from certain)

Whenever we think that the level of absurdity in this drama cannot be exceeded, we are proven wrong. It appears that England (not the whole of the UK) has virtually decided that the earth is flat. Is a no-deal horror … Continue reading

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STUART REES, Trump/Kushner Deal of the Century: ‘Money, Money, Money, It’s A Rich Man’s World’

  The Trump/Kushner Israeli/Palestinian Peace Plan, ‘the deal of the century’, was presented in a workshop held in the Manama Hotel, Bahrein on June 25. The authors emphasised economic proposals not political considerations, but their deal had a more sinister … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Trump’s strategic incoherence on India policy Part 2

In an editorial to mark Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit, The Times of India alluded to US policy incoherence in urging Washington to make up its mind between dealing with India as an ally or a frenemy. Earlier, in February … Continue reading

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HUGH WHITE. Australia needs to give up its South Pacific dream (AFR 13-14.7.2019)

What can Australia do to restore and preserve our sphere of influence in the South Pacific, and deny it to China?  

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RAMESH THAKUR. Trump’s strategic incoherence on India policy Part 1

The distance from hubris to delusion is short and the Trump administration is bent on covering it in a sprint in its India policy. Diffuse reciprocity is the diplomatic glue that holds international relationships together. A healthy and long-lasting bilateral relationship rests upon … Continue reading

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