Category Archives: Asia
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
But did he get the message?
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.
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.
An important issue we worked on in the Department (of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs) was foreign language learning. We set the pace in the early 1980s, with not many supporters. I felt quite lonely.
Today our intelligence agencies and bureaucrats tell us that China is the enemy. But less than 50 years ago the same agencies and bureaucrats (or their predecessors) were warning us that the enemy against which we had to prepare was … Continue reading
Australian corporates are reluctant to enter into commercial relationships in foreign countries, particularly those in Asia, and this is at odds with our geographic location and our rhetoric.
If a relationship just concentrates on STDs it’ll never mature. That goes for countries as well as couples.
“To catch crabs on a hill” is a Cantonese expression meaning something almost impossible. Hong Kong’s prospects are as bleak as that, but it would be a mistake to write the territory off completely. There is a dynamism in local … Continue reading
Seeing the theatrics going on in the USA leads me to muse on “Democracy” and what it means in Hong Kong terms. Is there a template into which every model must fit, or is it a broad concept which encompasses … Continue reading
A Revolutionary Change in Thailand: Protests Against the Monarchy Signal a Break With the Past (Foreign Affairs Dec 7, 2020)
Since February, protesters have taken to the streets of Thailand to demand reform of the country’s political system. Demonstrations swelled in recent months as activists grew more forthright in criticizing the government and the monarchy—an institution traditionally held sacrosanct.
Corruption is heavy stuff so let’s lighten with an old Indonesian joke: A farmer’s goat is stolen so he reports to the police. They’ll investigate if he pays. The fee is a cow. The theft is neither solved nor the bovines returned.
Did university administrators know of federal government policies to boost learning about Indonesia before they rushed to slash and burn? Or maybe they knew but are too blinkered to care.
Three weeks after the election, there is plenty of evidence that Biden and the emerging Democrat foreign policy team -in-waiting appreciate the strategic challenges facing President Elect Biden both in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.
Just a year into its second five-year term, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s government is under threat. Opposition is being powered by a hate group led by an incendiary preacher demanding the nation abandons democracy for a sharia state. How serious … Continue reading
Drop-catching in Canberra China’s embassy in Canberra has belatedly woken up to the way things are done in our capital, it seems, and got into the business of “dropping” newsworthy material into the laps of selected press gallery members.
Hard hit by the pandemic, Indonesia is in recession. The government is desperate to revive the economy and draw overseas investors, particularly into the tourist industry which earned almost AUD 20 billion a year before Covid-19. So not the ideal … Continue reading
Remembering Harold David Anderson OBE AO David Anderson was a meritorious Australian who brought great distinction and much honour to his country. Anderson displayed strong ethical and moral courage in his realistic pessimism over Vietnam at a time when his … Continue reading
Two dysfunctional semi-democracies held national elections in the first week of November. The USA and Myanmar.
Until recently Indonesia presented itself to the West not as a Muslim country but through Bali, a land of smiling faces, exotic dancers, paradisiacal landscapes.
The creation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will leave the U.S. sitting on the outside of Asia’s two major free trade blocs.This mega -pact includes China but not the USA.
The frame of relationships that exist in East Asia today was set around 70-years ago. It needs review.
Of all the corroded clichés used in reporting the US election, the rustiest claimed ‘the whole world was watching.’
The Marape government’s approach to foreign investment – and to governance generally – marks a significant, and welcome, shift away from the sometimes dubious deal-making that marked his predecessor’s approach.
Does anyone in Washington know anything about Indonesia? Clearly not, or White House staff would have urged State Secretary Mike Pompeo to enjoy fall in Washington. So there must be another reason for a 32,000 km round trip other than … Continue reading
The U.S. has been pressing many Southeast Asian states to join it in its efforts to politically and militarily contain China. Indonesia – the de facto leader of ASEAN – can show the way for ASEAN members by just saying “no” … Continue reading
We have displayed excessive zeal in embarking on wholesale policing of university agreements with foreign institutions, in the highly publicised raids on a third-tier Labor politician in Sydney who has no access to issues relevant to our national security, in … Continue reading
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo intended to meet his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha on 7 October. But the visit was cancelled after US President Donald Trump contracted Covid-19.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants to snare foreign investors. They’re a wary lot. Though excited by big markets and the chance of bigger returns, they’re fearful of losing fortunes, and with good reason: Risk.
Did Gough Whitlam greenlight Indonesia’s violent seizure of East Timor in 1975? The invasion and 24-year occupation took the lives of up to 300,000 people in a population of 650,000 living on a wretchedly poor leftover from European colonisation.