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Category Archives: Australia and Asia
There’ll be no revolution this time. Polls show New Zealand voters are as contented as a herd of freshly milked cows. The election will produce a government that will be either centre-left or centre-right. Either way, the winner will probably … Continue reading
Indonesia’s emergency law, enacted in response to the growing disruptive influence of Islamist hard-liners, could be a blow to the open, liberal democracy that Indonesian reformers have been trying to build ever since the fall of Soeharto in 1998. And … Continue reading
Now that ISIS has for all intents and purposes been driven out of Mosul and Raqqa the time has come for the Australian government to step back and review its diplomatic policies, and military commitments, in that region and focus … Continue reading
Three years on, it’s hard for even the most ardent Indophile to remain optimistic about the nation’s future.
We should not have to resort to speculation about what our troops are doing either in Syria or in the Philippines. But the mere mention of Islamist terrorism now generates an armed response.
The recent Lowy poll that showed a decrease in support for Trump but not for the alliance should not come as a surprise. It is consistent with Australia’s long standing desire for a protector. We should not be naïve about … Continue reading
Malcolm Turnbull’s glib talk of ‘‘frenemies’’ does nothing to help the urgent debate over how we handle the rising power of China.
With its new citizenship rules requiring applicants to show proof of attachment to Australian culture and values, Canberra has triggered a national identity debate. It is accused of showing xenophobic tendencies. But national identity could be much more complex than … Continue reading
Jusuf Wanandi pays tribute to Dick Woolcott, former Ambassador to Indonesia and Secretary of the Department of FOreign Affairs and Trade, on his 90th birthday. Throughout his long career Woolcott has been a friend to Indonesia.
In my blog of June 3 “the Miners Lament”, I pointed out that the large foreign owned mining companies in Australia may yet regret that they rejected out of hand the Resources Super Profits Tax that the Rudd Government proposed. … Continue reading
JEAN – PIERRE LEHMANN. Conspicuous Western & Japanese Absence from Belt & Road Initiative Summit is a Big Mistake
The conspicuous absence of the heads of state from the major Western economic powers and Japan at the 14/15 May Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) in Beijing is a big mistake and a missed opportunity for enhancing dynamic and cooperative … Continue reading
Politicians are continually blamed for their failures but our media is also responsible for the state of public discussion on important issues. This downward media spiral has been led by the Murdoch media’s abuse of power in the three major … Continue reading
The decisive defeat of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known as ‘Ahok’) in Jakarta’s litmus-test gubernatorial election is a triumph for hardline Islamist mob agitators. It comes after years of pressure from the Muslim right and may flag a shift in Indonesian … Continue reading
The Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM) expanded its membership, deepened its policy contributions to the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) and developed its connection to the Association of Southeast Asian … Continue reading
For Ms Bishop to be talking in Singapore about China and democracies, the Japanese “big ship” and rallying the claimants while pleading with the US to remain staunchly committed in the region certainly is risky. We could be exposed as … Continue reading
The relationship between our two countries is now back on a more normal diplomatic footing for the moment but we need to do better than that if we are to make the most of our proximity to this gigantic nation … Continue reading
The recent unravelling of world affairs has seen many argue that China may lead closer global economic cooperation. Xi Jinping’s recent speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos encouraged this rather surprising turn of events. Xi opined that protectionism, … Continue reading
The degree of ‘interoperability’ with US forces shapes the minds of Australian service personnel from top to bottom as also it shapes procurement planning and justification. … Any review by us of the Alliance relationship would run-up against a deep history. … Continue reading
This is a repost from 26/1/2013 A major barrier to our future in the region is our dependence on foreign institutions and powers. First it was the British and now the Americans. We cling to others.
We need to take decisions based on our own national interests. But we should take those decisions based on a knowledge of what regional countries think.
The importance of our relations with Indonesia in the future and in the wider context of the Asian century cannot be overstated. It is essential that each country acts to know more about its neighbour.
‘Taking sides’ is a schoolyard conception of how a nation’s strategic interest is to be calculated and diplomacy shaped. Standing on the sidelines of a fight, pointing an accusing finger at other barracking spectators and crying ‘you’re taking sides’ is … Continue reading
The Australian servicemen who left behind mixed-race children during the postwar Occupation of Japan set in motion changes that are chipping away at a nation’s stubborn myth of racial homogeneity.
Australians, Americans and Japanese have been ‘fighting monsters’––the monsters of war remembrance––since 1945. A high-profile visit to Pearl Harbor during the week seemed to suggest another monster was being laid to rest. But while that piece of theatre left much … Continue reading
As Australia necessarily rethinks its alliance with the United States, it must simultaneously educate itself into Asia. There is just no other way.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is not in the habit in recent years of speaking truth to power. It has seriously departed from the original charter that Hugh White explained. It acts like a foreign entity.
Australia has vital strategic interests in the Pacific but comparatively less influence with which to pursue them. Pacific states are largely unwilling to accept Australian leadership.
This action by a small number of Japanese in Australia harms the Japanese community itself and demeans the work of those in Japan and elsewhere who have fought so long and hard for historical truth and justice.
Some of Australia’s most experienced former foreign policy and defence bureaucrats have issued an open submission to the Foreign Minister calling on her to rethink the Australian-US alliance now that president-elect Donald Trump is set to lead the US.
With dropping levels in education and a fading economy Australia is in a decline. What we need is a clear focus on our own area, Asia and the South West Pacific.