Category Archives: Asia

RAMESH THAKUR. The half-century miracle of Asian resurgence (Japan Times 6-1-20)

Is Japan Asian? Geographically, this is a silly question. Yet in an age in which identity politics have become increasingly critical, by economic logic, political orientation and geopolitical alliance, Japan is Western.

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JOCELYN CHEY Two Systems One Strait

The re-election of Tsai Ying-wen at the weekend ensures the continuation of the status quo as far as relations between the Republic of China and the People’s Republic across the Strait.

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RAMESH THAKUR. Modi’s project to make a Hindu India (East Asia Forum 30-12-19)

When Scott Morrison visits India later this month, he should temper his marketing enthusiasm. The Modi government is fast-tracking India into uncharted territory despite a forest of flashing amber signs of dangers ahead.

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JOHN MENADUE, GREG DODDS. The Asian Century and the Australian Smoko. A repost from 30 December 2013

The Asian Century and the Australian Smoko was first published in April 2012. This repost might be interesting holiday reading.(There has been little improvement  in 8years .John Menadue)

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KERRY BROWN.-Everything remains up for stakes in Hong Kong. (EAF 29.12.2019)

This year was a torrid time for the city of Hong Kong and one where the year’s end brought only a little respite.The complacent image of Hong Kong being a place of political passivity conveyed throughout the period under British … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The anti-China ‘think tank’ receives farewell largesse from the Coalition. (A Repost from 5.4.2019)

The ASPI is not an ‘independent’ think tank that it claims to be. It is ‘joined at the hip’ to the US defence/arms and intelligence complex and an enthusiastic supporter of almost all things American. Fed by our intelligence agencies … Continue reading

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JAMES CURRAN Our China panic is stepping into the world of paranoia (AFR 10.12.2019)

The China debate is close to losing all sense of rationality and proportion. Where’s the confidence in our institutions?

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

KISHORE MAHBUBANI. ASEAN’s quiet resilience (East Asia Forum, 8 December 2019)

ASEAN should have begun to crack and fall apart from the strain of the rising geopolitical rivalries in Asia between the United States and China, if what critics say about its fragility were true. But ASEAN steadily marched through another … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Chinese checkers in the great game

Active spying need not mean an invasion, or war, is imminent

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Back to basics for Pope at huge Tokyo Mass (UCA News 25-11-19)

Francis warns against the consumerism and isolation that wealthy societies can create

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

ANTHONY MILNER. Delicate diplomacy: Australia needs to understand its neighbours better (The Strategist, 26 November 2019)

Scott Morrison likes using the phrase ‘delicate moment in time’ to describe the international dynamics Australia is now faced with. It’s a time to build friendships on many fronts, as the government understands well. But the task is challenging—even in … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Is India still committed to its no-first-use nuclear policy? (The Strategist 11-11-19)

On 16 August, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hinted that India might abandon its no-first-use policy: ‘Till today, our nuclear policy is “no first use”. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.’

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CAMERON DOUGLAS. Court bans Thai military opponent

Thailand’s Constitutional Court has banned as an MP the leader of a new and successful political party that opposes the military and the current prime minister. It could turn out to be step 1 in ending his political career.

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MICHAEL CLARKE. Some Context on Xinjiang

 Gregory Clark has claimed that we “badly” need more “context” on the situation in Xinjiang before criticising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Clark’s claim both ignores the weight of evidence as to the nature and scale of Beijing’s repression in … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The invisibility of Asian–Australians is a national scandal. The silence on this scandal is a disgrace

As I read through the opinion articles in The Canberra Times and The Australian on Saturday 9 November, I grew increasingly exasperated at the total absence of any Asian voice. I then did an online search of opinion articles in … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

GEOFF RABY.  Beijing’s Own Goal on Hastie and Johnson (Australian Financial Review, 21 November 2019)

These days there is never a dull moment in Australia-China relations.  After a seeming slight thaw with the recent meeting between Prime Minister Morrison and Premier LI Keqiang in Thailand on the margins of the recent ASEAN meeting, Beijing has … Continue reading

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YASMIN KHAN. The Raj at War: A People’s History of India’s Second World War

Britain didn’t fight the second world war — the British empire did.  Had it not been for the empire, Britain might have lost the second world war, says William Dalrymple. The war certainly lost Britain the empire. 

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CAVAN HOGUE. Hong Kong – Students and police

The current situation is Hong Kong is depressing as both police and protesters blame the other and both engage in violence. There is no sign of reconciliation and the future looks bleak whatever happens. Recession is serious. This report is … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. Beijing’s Winning Hand in Hong Kong

Far from Hong Kong being a negative and putting Xi under pressure, as is commonly believed by most foreign commentators, including myself, the ongoing disturbance and violence have achieved two things for the Communist Party: fatal damage within China to … Continue reading

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GREG CLARK. Australia’s China threat obsessions are not new.

Australia’s China threat obsessions are not new. Remember the Vietnam War? Obsessions then were far worse: ‘It (the Vietnam War) must be seen as part of a thrust by Communist China between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.’ (Robert Menzies, April … Continue reading

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KATE LAPPIN and MICHELLE HIGELIN. Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership spells danger for 1.1 billion women.

Australia is about to sign on to a new mega-trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). But what does this mean for the rights of 1.1 billion women and girls who live in the 15 countries involved in the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Human Rights, International Affairs | 2 Comments

SALMAN KHURSHID. Ayodhya verdict nudges us to look back at how much we have lost over years of conflict (The Indian Express 11-11-19)

The greatest opportunity that the judgment offers is a reaffirmation of India as a secular society. It is a decision that refutes the idea of Hindu Rashtra and amplifies the practical handling of sensitive religious concerns in a secular system.

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RAMESH THAKUR. The risk of entrapment by self-fulfilling nuclear prophecy

As rising nuclear threats become harder to ignore, non-nuclear states have responded in one of two ways. The majority have sought to reduce the risks of deliberate or inadvertent nuclear war by doubling down on disarmament efforts, crystallised most eloquently … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

ASSOCIATED PRESS-Europe looking to China as global partner, shunning Donald Trump’s US ( 7 November 2019)

When France’s president wants to carry European concerns to the world stage to find solutions for climate change, trade tensions or Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he no longer calls Washington. He flies to Beijing.

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RAMESH THAKUR. We Need to Stop Turning India into a Hindu Pakistan (The Wire 19-10-15)

This is the follow-up article promised yesterday. It was first published in October 2015 in The Wire, one of India’s premier online news and analysis site that has managed to remain independent and critical. I have added translations of common … Continue reading

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ALFRED M. WU. The failings of ‘one country, two systems’ (East Asia Forum, 29 October 2019)

The ‘one country, two systems’ framework is coming under increasing pressure as unprecedented protests and months of unrest rock Hong Kong. Sustaining local autonomy against the background of an increasingly assertive Chinese centre has become a progressively tricky issue.

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RAMESH THAKUR. A hometown lynching

This gut-wrenching story is from and about my hometown where I was born and grew up. I wish I could say I’m surprised as well as horrified but that would be a lie. This is the reality I grew up … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Human Rights, International Affairs | 4 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. North Korea: the clock is ticking – but just?

There have been a few developments since the abortive Hanoi Summit but overall little of substance has changed.

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GEOFF RABY. The lowest ebb – the decline and decline of Australia’s relationship with China

Today, the Australia-China relationship is at its lowest point since diplomatic relations began 46 years ago.  (This Annual La Trobe China Oration was delivered on 29 October 2019.  It is much longer than usual postings. The issues involved however are very … Continue reading

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Christopher Findlay. Can cooperation prevent the descent of a digital Iron Curtain? (East Asia Forum, 27 October 2019)

Fifth-generation mobile network technology (5G) offers higher speeds and greater capacity. This is critical for cutting-edge technologies such as autonomous vehicles and applications of virtual reality. The development of 5G is also expected to drive innovation towards many things not … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Media | 2 Comments