Category Archives: International Affairs

GREG WOOD. The China Australia FTA Meets the All Controlling State- A REPOST from September 25 2017

During Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Australia in March, Australia and China signed a “Declaration of Intent” to accelerate a review of the provisions governing services trade and investment in the bilateral China Australia free trade agreement (Chafta).  So far … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. Where have all the grown-ups gone on China policy?- A REPOST from June 23 2017

Malcolm Turnbull’s glib talk of ‘‘frenemies’’ does nothing to help the urgent debate over how we handle the rising power of China.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. The torment of the impossible Kurdish dream.

For all the promises, for all the sterling work they have willingly done in the fight against evil, for all the sympathy they have engendered, the Kurds will never achieve their greatest aspiration: their own homeland. The fact is the … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Real Danger: A New Nuclear Arms Race.

New US nuclear weapons policies, quantitative and qualitative will ensure that a new nuclear arms race proceeds. Global danger will increase as will the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons. Its not just Trump that is at issue. He … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. Nuclear arms: Look ahead to 2018 in hope, not back at 2017 in anger.

We begin 2018 with a surreal contest between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as to whose nuclear button is bigger. Against North Korea’s anxiety-inducing rapid nuclear advances, the biggest positive story line of 2017 was … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. Climate change, droughts and wars: is there a nexus?

According to Al Gore during 2006 and 2010 some 60 percent of farms in Syria were destroyed and abandoned and some 80 percent of the livestock were killed during the most severe drought parts of the Middle East ever recorded[i]. … Continue reading

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GARETH EVANS. Trump’s US has abdicated global leadership- A REPOST from June 20 2017

Following his presentation at the EU-Australia Senior and Emerging Leaders’ Forum last week, ANU Chancellor and former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans spoke with Melissa Conley Tyler, Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. Evans said that by withdrawing … Continue reading

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GEOFF MILLER. Singapore, Australia, “the Quad” and ASEAN—same same but different!

Singapore and Australia are having to deal with the same set of problems and relationships as the strategic situation in the Asia-Pacific changes.  Singapore isn’t a contender for an expanded “Quad” but, as next year’s Chairman of ASEAN, it will … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Revising history – A REPOST from June 16 2017

For octogenarians like me, the most astonishing development since the collapse of the Soviet Union is that so much of the West’s hopes for international sanity, civility and peace should now rest with, of all countries, Germany.  

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. Visit Down Under and pay up.

Indonesians will not be getting cheap and easy-to-obtain Australian visas available to Malaysians and Singaporeans. Australian campaigners seeking better access for Indonesian tourists have been officially told there will be no changes. This is despite the Republic giving Australians free … Continue reading

Posted in Asia | 2 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. White man’a media- A REPOST from May 29 2017

That the Australian media gives us saturation coverage of Europe but much less on Asia is obvious but the question is why? Have they done market research which shows this is what the public wants or does it stem from … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Media | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY AND THOMAS ORA. Timor-Leste’s young government teeters on collapse

Asia’s most Catholic country faces the prospect of a second election inside nine months after government fractures

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MACK WILLIAMS. Adrift in  the South China Sea? -A REPOST from May 22 2017

While Washington is paralysed by alleged White House scandal the US has taken its eye off the South China Sea. Continuing developments in the region have reinforced China’s position. Australia cannot afford to delay its own examination of our long … Continue reading

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JOHN LEE. The rise of China’s tech sector: the making of an internet empire.

Part one of this two-part series looks at the rise of China’s digital economy, the champion firms that dominate it, and their relationship with the Chinese state.  The Chinese government’s online censorship and alleged cyber espionage activities have long been a … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

UCANews. Democracy showdown looms in Malaysia

Approaching elections should act as a safety valve in the multi-ethnic nation.

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DOUGLAS NEWTON.  Beersheba – the Scramble for the Ottoman Empire- A REPOST From November 2, 2017

The centenary of the bloodshed at Beersheba this month is being used to bolster a narrow nationalist understanding of Australia’s First World War. Vital truths about the worldwide catastrophe that had enveloped countless millions by October 1917 are being obscured … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 11 Comments

RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The Australia – Indonesia Agreement on maintaining security in 1995

  The Cabinet papers for 1994/95, released on 1 January this year, made it clear that Paul Keating had sought to develop a security agreement between Australia and Indonesia in 1994. The Agreement was completed in 1995.  

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MACK WILLIAMS. Breaking the ice at Pyeongchang?

The decision by the DPRK to reopen high level talks with the ROK next week in preparation for the Winter Olympics is monumental for the ROK. Followed by the US:ROK decision to defer major military exercises at the time of … Continue reading

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AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE. The US has a massive military presence in the Asia-Pacific.

We are warned about Chinese island building for military purposes in the South China Sea. But all this is quite minor compared to the US military bases that encircle China and provoke the DPRK.

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ANDREW FARRAN. India riding roughshod in commodities trade.

India’s decision on 21 December to slap overnight a 30% tariff increase on Australian imports of lentils and chick peas is just not what a stable, orderly trade system needs. But even so, do we need another discriminatory bilateral so-called … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. War on the cheap.

It’s unlikely that the Army will commission a further report following Albert Palazzo’s account of the ADF’s operations in Iraq. We have years to wait for Professor Craig Stocking’s official history. What Australia urgently needs is a full independent inquiry … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Ausgrid decision and the growing power of security and intelligence agencies. A REPOST from August 2016

  The Ausgrid decision on Chinese investment raises two important issues. The first is how do we get a proper balance between security concerns and the wider benefits of the relationship. Our major strategic ally the US sees China our … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Infrastructure, International Affairs, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Korean Hot Line

Kim Jong-un’s offer to re-open the hotline with South Korea cannot be seen as merely a ploy to wedge ROK and the United States, as so readily claimed last Tuesday by Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations.  

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia and the wars of the alliance: fragments for a coronial inquiry – Part 4: A REPOST The finding: a disordered national mindset and body politic

Australia’s alliance wars – their respective causes, conduct, and consequences – are overdetermined by the politics and strategies of the United States. In general, though they consist of few battlefield successes, the overall record is one of failed campaigns informed … Continue reading

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PATRICK MCEACHERN. What is Kim Jong Un’s intention with nuclear weapons?

Unlike his father and grandfather, Kim Jong Un began his reign as the top leader in North Korea with an unambiguous and tested first generation nuclear device.  He showed early signs of doubling down on the nuclear program as fundamental … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

CAVAN HOGUE. The ambassadorial minnow and the whale.

Australian angst about the failure of the US to send an ambassador to Australia reflects the nature of our relationship. Tim Fischer is right to see it as an insult but it should not surprise us. 

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ALLAN PATIENCE. In an untrustworthy world, whom can we trust?

Three political heavy weights loom threateningly over 2018: Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. All three lead dangerous nuclear-armed states. All three have elephantine egos squashing their intellects. As ultimate narcissists, each believes that his nation is embodied in … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia and the wars of the alliance: fragments for a coronial inquiry – Part 3: The United States military-A REPOST

Australia’s alliance wars – their respective causes, conduct, and consequences – are overdetermined by the politics and strategies of the United States. In general, though they consist of few battlefield successes, the overall record is one of failed campaigns informed … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Contracting out our foreign and defence policies -A REPOST from 2 February 2017)

The military and defence establishment and lobbies, both in Australia and the US are determining Australia’s foreign policy. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and her Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are  sidelined. Locked into the US defence complex  with … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia and the wars of the alliance: fragments for a coronial inquiry – Part 2: United States strategy.- A REPOST

Australia’s alliance wars – their respective causes, conduct, and consequences – are overdetermined by the politics and strategies of the United States. In general, though they consist of few battlefield successes, the overall record is one of failed campaigns informed … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 5 Comments