Category Archives: International Affairs

OSMOND CHIU. What should Australia do about its politics being too white? (China Matters 25.2.2020)

Australian politics is too white. It is less diverse than comparable countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada. This is embarrassing.

Posted in Asia, Politics | 3 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM.The pachyderm on the patio

Kupang is at the bottom of West Timor. It’s the largest city in far eastern Indonesia. Imagine how Canberra would react if Jakarta allowed the People’s Liberation Army Air Force to station their armed jets just 830 km northeast of … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. Is the US a normal country?

Remarks at the Munich Security Conference by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are full of unconscious irony.

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

CAMERON DOUGLAS. Thailand’s future party now past tense

Thailand’s constitutional court has what must be unique powers to decide the fate of political parties – and the shape of national politics. It exercised its powers again last week. The latest party to threaten military-backed authoritarian rule there no … Continue reading

Posted in Asia | 1 Comment

JOHN TAN. Jokowi, identity politics … and neoliberalism.

President Joko Widodo is concerned by identity politics, which has been standard fare for neoliberal US and Australian election strategists for many years.

Posted in International Affairs, Media, Politics | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Organised violence: the US and China compared

The world has seen the rise and fall of some 150 empires. That number doesn’t even include the United States, whose unacknowledged empire includes more than 800 military bases in some 70 countries.

Posted in International Affairs | 8 Comments

KERRY BROWN and EMMA LUO. Degrees of espionage(Chatham House/The World today 13.2.2020)

Fears are rising in countries…that China is wielding undue influence through its supposed infiltration of universities and institutions and by its spying on companies and government.

Posted in Education, International Affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

MAX HAYTON. New Zealand’s Government faces an uphill election battle.

A recent poll suggests that New Zealand’s Labour Party had insufficient support to form a government if an election had been held when the poll was taken.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

ANDREW FARRAN. Further unintended consequences for Boris’s Brexit.

Coming to terms with the repercussions of Brexit has not been made easier for the UK by Boris Johnson’s self-imposed constraint that the business must be settled by 31st December with no extensions.

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

DAVID MACILWAIN. Australian media and its regulator conceal the true story of chemical weapons attacks in Syria

In writing a formal complaint to the overseer of Australian media ACMA over SBS’ failure to broadcast news that the OPCW’s claims on chemical weapons use in Syria had been exposed as fabricated, I have encountered a Kafkaesque problem – … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Media | 7 Comments

PETER RODGERS. Trump’s peace ‘vision’- be careful what you welcome.

Rather than just welcoming Trump’s plan and keeping quiet, now is the time for Australia to speak up about the plan’s absurdities and contradictions.

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

RICHARD JAVAD HEYDARIAN.Duterte delivers deathblow to US-Philippine ties(Asia Times 12.2.2020)

Filipino leader scraps key bilateral security pact that US leverages to check China in the South China Sea

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Impeachment politics revisited

The doomed impeachment has helped Trump and damaged Biden. The election is now Trump’s to lose and the Democratic nomination is Sanders’ to lose.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. Traps, Trump and Thucydides

The Belfer Center has announced the winner of the public competition run by Harvard academic Graham Allison to ‘craft a grand strategy to meet the China challenge’. Allison’s concept of a Thucydides Trap was the theme of the competition. The … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

RUCHIR SHARMA. How Technology Saved China’s Economy(NYT 20.1.2020)

Landing in Shanghai recently, I found myself in the middle of a tech revolution remarkable in its sweep.

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | 2 Comments

NICK DEANE. The climate crisis and the need for peace.

The climate crisis increases the likelihood of war and refugee flows.

Posted in Defence/Security, Environment and climate, International Affairs | 5 Comments

JOHN TAN. Australia joins the RCEP: Challenges and opportunities ahead.

Australia has joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which will come into being in 2020; 15 countries just to the north; a huge potential market of nearly half the world’s population and over a quarter of the world’s GDP.

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JOHN CARLIN. Brexit Has Happened: Good Night and Good Luck

The divorce has gone through, and now begin the negotiations as to who gets the house, the car and the kids.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

GEOFF RABY. Australia-China:The year ahead (UTS/ACRI Forum5.2.2020)

Civil emergencies have marked the start of the New Year for both Canberra and Beijing. Each in its own way is likely to have some implications for foreign policy and how the bilateral relationship is managed.

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KISHORE MAHBUBANI. The Year Ahead 2020(Project Syndicate 26.12.2019)

The international order has lagged dangerously behind shifting global power dynamics. If leaders do not start addressing the contradictions soon, the most likely result is crisis – or even conflict – and even more dangerous contradictions.

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

GREG BARNS and LISANNE ADAM: JULIAN ASSANGE – THE LONG ROAD TO EUROPE

Julian Assange’s fight against extradition to the United States from the UK highlights breaches of his rights under European human rights law. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is likely to take a very dim view of the United … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, International Affairs | 2 Comments

PRIYA CHACKO. India’s changing and Australia’s paying no attention(EAF 1.2.2020)

With bilateral trade negotiations stalling and India choosing not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, attention has shifted away from economics and towards defence and security cooperation as the key to building a closer relationship between Australia and India.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MINXIN PEI. The Coronavirus is a Disease of Chinese Autocracy(Project Syndicate 28.1.2020)

When China’s leaders finally declare victory against the outbreak of the new and deadly coronavirus, they will undoubtedly credit the Communist Party of China’s leadership. But the truth is just the opposite: the party is again responsible for this calamity.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

STUART REES ‘Trump’s ‘Peace Plan’, A Concoction of Humiliation, Cruelty, Illegality’

The world is being asked to believe that cruelties and illegalities amount to a feasible Trump plan for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

EMILLIAN KAVALSKI and NICHOLAS ROSS SMITH.Putin’s reforms may model Deng Xiaoping.(SCMP 27.1.2020)

After 20 years, Putin may be looking to protect his legacy by negotiating a controlled power handover in Russia, retiring from day-to-day administration while keeping a firm hand on policy direction as Russia’s father figure – much as China’s Deng … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit, the ‘final ‘ stages. Will Europe be the same again?

In the highly complicated and complex negotiations soon to be underway between the UK and the EU, and others, to complete Brexit, it cannot be assumed that truth will displace ‘fact’ or that international trade law will be respected in … Continue reading

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JOHN MCCARTHY. Reflections on the Accidental Independence of East Timor.(The Strategist 18.1.2020)

Every country has its legends. They may be important to national self-esteem, but they’re not necessarily good history.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 8 Comments

SUSHANT SINGH. With a flag, song and book (Indian Express 24-1-20)

As well as Australia Day, 26 January is an important day of celebration in India as Republic Day. The Constitution of India formally came into force on 26 January 1950.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

PATRICK COCKBURN. The US and Iran’s Perpetual Almost-War is Unsustainable – and Will End Badly(Counterpunch21.1.2020)

The basis for a deal exists between the US and Iran, but that does not mean one will materialise.

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Modi’s threat to the idea, national unity and territorial integrity of India

China’s Communist Party never admits to mistakes but always learns from them. India’s PM Narendra Modi never admits to mistakes and seems too stubborn to learn from them. He calls to mind Barbara Tuchman’s description of Philip II of Spain: … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Human Rights, International Affairs | 3 Comments