Category Archives: World Affairs

Pariah state: ‘Something really ugly’ about Australia’s foreign policy

In summing up the malign influence of the Murdoch media in the UK, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger commented: “We’ve allowed something really ugly to happen in this country…” The same has to be said about the ugliness of Australian foreign … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Top 5, World Affairs | Tagged | 7 Comments

Spanner in the works: US tinkers with Mid-East foreign policy

The Biden administration has now made three significant moves in the cauldron of conflict that is the Middle East, although a deal with Iran looks set to be a sterner test.

Posted in Defence and Security, World Affairs | Tagged | 17 Comments

US-India plot wrong course in Indian Ocean

The  militarization of the Indian Ocean is in direct violation of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2832, which designated the Indian Ocean as a “zone of peace” and called on the great powers to halt any further escalation of military … Continue reading

Posted in Asia | 1 Comment

Two decades after 9/11, US war machine is in 85 countries

Since 2018, the US has provided “counterterrorism” training or assistance in 79 nations and its troops have carried out bombing or ground attacks in 10 countries, according to a new interactive map. Meanwhile, China has one official overseas base, in … Continue reading

Posted in Defence and Security, Top 5, World Affairs | Tagged | 20 Comments

Japanese Ambassador rapped over the knuckles by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

But did he get the message?

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | Tagged | 45 Comments

The humble necktie (or ‘colonial noose’) remains a powerful symbol

It turned into a prickly day in the Beehive in Wellington when Rawiri Waititi walked into Parliament wearing a large greenstone taonga around his neck, rather than a necktie.

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 6 Comments

An unsentimental China policy: The case for putting vital interests first

Fifty years ago come July, US President Richard Nixon announced what would become his signature foreign policy achievement: the opening to China. The following February, in what the press called “the week that shook the world”, he flew to Beijing … Continue reading

Posted in China | 22 Comments

Carbon tariffs and taxes should not be an item for the WTO

Carbon border tariffs would tie the World Trade Organisation in knots and detract from its core purposes. Such a tax would also discriminate against the poorest in the world. Without broad consensus they would be illegal.

Posted in World Affairs | 3 Comments

Keeping an open mind: rules based order needs to be malleable

As countries like China continue to integrate into the world economy, the liberal “rules-based” order – centred around political governance and the military – needs to remain flexible.

Posted in China, World Affairs | 6 Comments

Skilled operators: Europe is back in the Indo Pacific

The US might be coming back to the region, but so too is Europe, a nod to the fact that the central locus of global economic weight and geopolitical activity has moved. However, we need to beware the excessive zeal … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 37 Comments

Competition for technological primacy between the great powers will draw in ASEAN

Scott Morrison assumes the ASEAN states will line up with the US and Australia in attempting to blunt China’s growth and influence. Yet China can offer the ASEAN states solutions to their pressing problems of population growth, poverty and urbanisation  … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 9 Comments

Brexit fallout: How London lost its place as the world’s financial capital

The Amsterdam stock market, which traded the first-ever equity in the Dutch East India company, has regained its position as the top European stock market after more than three centuries of trailing London.

Posted in Top 5, World Affairs | Tagged | 5 Comments

What is the Japanese Embassy in Canberra up to?

 Is it trying to stoke anti-China sentiment in Australia?

Posted in China | 36 Comments

Indonesia still waiting for legislation to penalise sexual violence

Five years ago a Bill was put before Indonesia’s lower house (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) to penalise sexual violence. Activists stressed the need for urgency as the scourge was increasing. They’re still waiting.

Posted in Asia | Leave a comment

Diplomatic finesse in the offing? Possible modifications of Freedom of Navigation Operations under Biden

For years the US has purposely conceptually conflated freedom of navigation for commercial vessels with its claimed freedom for its military assets to threaten and probe weaknesses in its opponents’ defences including those of China.

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

Australia should stop blocking international justice in Israel and Palestine

The International Criminal Court last week handed down a historic ruling confirming that the court’s prosecutor has the power to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Palestine.

Posted in Human Rights | 37 Comments

People in glass houses should be careful about throwing stones

A group of Australian journalists in their never-ending hostility to China keep throwing stones at China for human rights breaches in Xinjiang, but largely ignore Australian and other breaches. Their ignorance of China explains a lot.

Posted in China, Human Rights, Media | 54 Comments

Trump writes the rule book for future demagogues

What a cop out. The respectable Republican operatives who have used Trump’s populist appeal to maintain their position and privileges are more dangerous than the supporters of Trump who stormed the Capitol.

Posted in World Affairs | Tagged | 26 Comments

Colonial-type genocide in West Papua: living in constant fear

West Papuans are Indigenous people, easily ignored, their natural resources exploited, their homes and cultures destroyed, hundreds tortured, hundreds of thousands killed.  Our media reports endlessly about genocide in remote Xinjiang but not about genocide in neighbouring West Papua. Why?

Posted in Human Rights | 24 Comments

Understanding today’s USA

To understand a nation, look at its origins.

Posted in World Affairs | 20 Comments

US government changes hands but Assange approach will stay the same

The Australian government’s unwillingness to protect one of its own, coupled with Biden’s contradictory remarks about WikiLeaks, means nothing is likely to stop the wheels of British and American justice grinding towards the predictable result.

Posted in Top 5, World Affairs | Tagged | 1 Comment

Alas America, the outlook is difficult; but should not be aggressive

Ignorance of the world, along with a belief in American exceptionalism, combines with an obsession with a capitalism that is rapidly increasing inequity. That is the USA.

Posted in World Affairs | 8 Comments

Morrison can barely hide his disdain for China; Labor fears being wedged

Until there is more positive signalling out of Washington, the Australia–China relationship will remain frozen. Neither Morrison nor Albanese has the grace, courage, or diplomatic skills to challenge the status quo.

Posted in China, Top 5 | Tagged | 114 Comments

Why should Australia be concerned about rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait?

The pivotal reason that peace has endured for 70 years has disappeared. President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping has declared he wants to oversee movement toward unification during his lifetime.

Posted in China | 25 Comments

A ‘rules-based order’ is ambiguous for good reason

The Rules-Based Order is a diplomatic tool as it can mean many things to many people. A helpful response to anyone using the term is to ask whose rules, which rules, and why are they using it?

Posted in World Affairs | 3 Comments

China does not like the coup in Myanmar

Since the military coup in Myanmar on 1 February 2021, there have been reports and allegations that China approves of or is able to spin the military takeover to its advantage. This is unlikely to be true.

Posted in Asia | 5 Comments

Stalemate in Australia-China relations

The People’s Republic of China continues to reject overtures for high-level ministerial dialogue while maintaining that Australia bears the lion’s share of responsibility to create a situation in which the relationship can be improved.

Posted in China | 11 Comments

Myanmar: the US howls and seethes from the sidelines but it has no influence

America is calling the military takeover in Myanmar a coup. Not quite. Myanmar’s fragile democracy always existed at the pleasure of the military and the military became displeased when it appeared the people wanted to strengthen democracy.

Posted in Top 5, World Affairs | 22 Comments

Covid-19 vaccine caught in the crossfire of EU, UK spat

Scientists and medical professionals are concerned that, in its attempts to justify the slow rollout of vaccines to the 448 million EU citizens, European Commission officials may have diminished faith in the efficacy of the vaccines globally.

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

Biden China team puts militarist cart before the diplomatic horse

By doubling down on Trump’s ‘in your face’ pursuit of military domination, the Biden China team seems to be proffering more of the same to the region — instability and a drift toward confrontation and conflict.

Posted in China | 8 Comments