Category Archives: Asia

Scared of the same bogeyman? Let’s cooperate.

Was Indonesia alerted ahead of the PM’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan announcement? The presumption is that key people were tipped off, largely because there’s been no blow-back.

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Indonesia’s President Widodo finally takes a firm stand, but will it matter?

Indonesia’s founding president Soekarno was a dazzling demagogue, feared and loathed by the West and admired by the East. Apart from Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), his successors’ performances at the podium have been pedestrian, but suddenly Joko Widodo, the epitome … Continue reading

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The mainstream media fails on Australia’s foreign policy

Our media avoids any discussion or analysis of the literally hundreds of United States military bases that are situated in proximity to China, and similarly the hundreds of military bases aimed at “containing” Russia.

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ABC sending a strange message to the region.

The slashing and burning of ABC workers, their goodies and services seems to have missed the overseas TV service ABC Australia. That’s no reason to whoop. Further cuts will kill.

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Australian Soaps to the Pacific – Good Diplomacy?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade launched an initiative to send commercial (soaps) Australian television programs to stations in the South Pacific. This will do little to enhance vigorous and discerning projection of Australian news and values in the … Continue reading

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In the Australia-China relationship, name calling won’t help.

It is easy for governments to disguise their inability to manage the complex Australia-China relationship by resorting to finger-pointing and name-calling. Continue reading

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The inevitability of fundamental change in the world and what China wants

“The coronavirus pandemic will change the world order forever. When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, institutions in many countries will look as if they have failed. It is not a question of whether this judgment is correct from an objective … Continue reading

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Coronavirus, racism and Asian-Australian representation. Part 2 of a series on racism.

The emergence of the coronavirus in Wuhan China has led to a rise and return of racist and xenophobic attitudes in Australia towards Chinese-Australians and those of seemingly “Chinese” appearance. The fear, anxiety and uncertainty of the pandemic have fuelled … Continue reading

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The US and China: can “peer competitors” cooperate?

Extensive talks in Hawaii on 18 June between US Secretary of State Pompeo and Chinese Politburo member responsible for international affairs, Yang Jiechi, could have been a significant step in the two powers’ difficult relationship, but security has been tight … Continue reading

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Vietnam’s remarkable rise deserves more attention from Canberra

Vietnam’s response to COVID-19 has highlighted its competence as a country. It has unequivocally won the peace. It manages its relations with China with firmness and diplomacy.

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Our strategic partnerships with China, India, Japan and the US

The signature of a strategic agreement between Australia and India is being hailed as a success. Certainly our construction of positive relations with India has lagged, although efforts to do better began in the 1980s. But what’s it all about? … Continue reading

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China Matters: Letter to the editor of Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun.

The article by Ms Ellen Whinnett in the 14 June 2020 edition of both The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun contained demonstrable falsehoods and defamatory insinuations about the work of China Matters, and the supporter circle of the organisation.

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What Does China Want domestically under the Leadership of President Xi? Part 2 of 2

What President Xi wants domestically is to uphold the leadership of the CCP, upgrade China’s manufacturing capacities to middle and upper end of the production chain so as to make China strong and the people wealthy.

Posted in Asia | 3 Comments

The many meanings of the word corruption

It is widely expected by foreigners undertaking commercial activities in the Asian region that “facilitation payments” or corruption by another name will be required for most services provided to them.

Posted in Asia, Politics | 1 Comment

Chinese ties put Indonesia in a bind.

Beijing has warned citizens against travel to Australia claiming ‘a significant increase’ in racial discrimination and violence against Chinese and Asians blamed for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Posted in Asia | 4 Comments

We may be stuck in our bigotry. Urgent change on many fronts needed

So much of our political mainstream has been based on bigotry and racist perspectives. We have always had the comfort of the US and UK accepting our attitudes on race. That no longer will be the case.

Posted in Asia, Human Rights | 13 Comments

South Korea and the G7 – some tricky issues

Recent months have seen little sign of any development in the US: DPRK relations but a lot has been happening in the peninsular – through piecing the jigsaw together continues to be challenging.

Posted in Asia | 2 Comments

China’s Consumers Increasing the Price of Provoking the Dragon

Australia’s governments, businesses and media have accorded inadequate attention to the power of the Chinese consumer when picking fights with Beijing.

Posted in Asia, Economy | 4 Comments

Hong Kong autonomy and the National People’s Congress (EAF, 9.6.20)

Hong Kong’s future is gloomy, but it should not be written off yet. It plays a vital role in the interface between China and the rest of the world Its future is not and never could be autonomy and most Hongkongers understand … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, China Series | 3 Comments

Back to the good ol’ ways in Jakarta

Cities can snap-back from the Corona-19 crisis – though not necessarily to a New Normal. Jakarta shows how.

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RAMESH THAKUR. The ScoMosa Summit

The value of personal diplomacy was on display in the Morrison-Modi Summit last week – quickly dubbed ‘the ScoMosa’ summit after some culinary Twitter banter between the leaders.  But the virtual dialogue had great substance, paving the way for closer bilateral … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics | 3 Comments

NEVILLE ROACH. Historic Summit between Australian and Indian Prime Ministers.

Does It Finally Signal A New Dawn In The Australia-India Relationship? 

Posted in Asia, Politics | 1 Comment

GREGORY CLARK. The anniversary of 1971 Pingpong Diplomacy

The 50th anniversary of perhaps the most important event Australia’s relations with Asia, or even in its history, was barely noticed when it passed this month.

Posted in Asia | 4 Comments

MARK BEESON. The PRC is getting harder to like, but so is the US

China’s foreign and domestic policies are getting increasingly difficult to deal with, but so are America’s. A more even-handed approach to both might make life easier for Australian policymakers.

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 3 Comments

TIM BUCKLEY & PRAVEEN GUPTA. Energy is pivotal to India’s economic development and sustainability goals. Part 2 of 2.

In Part 1, Tim Buckley and Praveen Gupta discussed the influences on India’s economic growth, energy security and environmental sustainability. In Part 2 they explore the Indian government’s energy strategies and possible ways forward.

Posted in Asia, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

TIM BUCKLEY & PRAVEEN GUPTA. Energy is pivotal to India’s economic development and sustainability goals. Part 1 of 2.

In Part 1, Tim Buckley and Praveen Gupta explore the factors influencing India’s economic growth, energy and water security, natural resources, air pollution and environmental sustainability.

Posted in Asia, Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

CHRIS NYLAND. Perhaps Not a Good Time to Poke the Dragon?

A number of commentators have expressed surprise that Canberra would provoke China at a time when the Australian economy may be desperate to increase exports!

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 1 Comment

STUART REES. Authoritarian cultures in Hong Kong, the US and Australia.

Authoritarianism as a way to govern has been embraced in democracies and by dictators. It rests on assumptions that leaders know best, dissent should be suppressed, democracy derided, free speech stifled, control made effective by violence and secrecy.

Posted in Asia, Politics | 9 Comments

CHEK LING. The mutating ‘China question’

What a shemozzle! The cash cow has turned into a contagious apparition!

Posted in Asia, Politics | 6 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. More Jakarta, Less Geneva!

It’s become a ritual for every Australian leader for the past half-century.

Posted in Asia | 2 Comments