Category Archives: Asia

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

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

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.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

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

GEOFF RABY. The China Threat leads to dead ends (Australian Financial Review, 29 October 2019)

The Australia-China relationship is at its lowest point since diplomatic relations began 46 years ago.  This is something the Australian Government doesn’t wish to discuss.  Its diplomats are paid to put a positive spin on things.  Elements of the conservative … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Japan’s least bad choice on North Korea (Japan Times 3-10-19)

If Japanese officials have conducted any clear-eyed, hard-headed analysis of the government’s policy options on North Korea’s nuclear challenge, they have managed to keep it well hidden.

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TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. Australia, the US, the Yellow Peril, and the Baby-Strangling Chinese: A Cautionary Tale.

As the Morrison government moves ever closer to the Trump administration’s approach to our region and the world, it is time to look more closely at the ‘expertise’ that underlies Trump’s China policy. It draws on some very curious sources.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 5 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. ‘It’s no crime to be a refugee’.

Review of Kavita Puri, Partition Voices: Untold British Stories (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 297 pp. This is an important, interesting and elegantly written book. ‘It is no crime to be a refugee’, says one of the persons interviewed for the book. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

BRUCE HAIGH. China on the move

Australia has to have a relationship with both China and America. Neither are perfect. China has a better idea of where it is going than America. Morrison is going all the way with Trump. That is not the answer.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 5 Comments

WANG GUNWU. China’s rise this time is different (East Asia Forum, 29 September 2019)

On 1 October China will be celebrating the 70 years of unification that followed Mao Zedong’s victory over the Nationalist regime in 1949. Many thought that had brought about the rise that the Chinese peoples had been waiting for since … Continue reading

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LAUREN RICHARDSON. Japan’s deepening diplomatic crisis with South Korea (East Asia Forum 15-9-19)

Japan’s relationship with South Korea is not amicable at the best of times. Yet in recent months it has entered a rapidly descending diplomatic spiral of unprecedented depth and scope. Mounting bilateral friction over the intractable ‘history problems’ is steadily … Continue reading

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ANU ANWAR. How China is using tourists to realise its geopolitical goals (East Asia Forum 19-9-19)

Decades of astonishing economic growth have given China new tools for extending its influence abroad and achieving its political goals. Some of these tools are inducements, including Belt and Road Initiative projects and new development financial institutions. But China has demonstrated that it … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY.  An Economic Giant With More Brittle Politics Than Ever. AFR 1 October 2019

China’s 70th Anniversary will be a razzle-dazzle extravaganza celebrating the achievements of the Communist Party of China since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.  The party-state’s propaganda machinery has already been in over-drive extolling the Party’s achievements over … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

KISHORE MAHBUBANI. What China Threat? How the United States and China can avoid war (Harper Magazine 22-01-19) A Repost.

Quite remarkably ,of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council ,China is the only one among them that has not fired a single shot across its border in thirty years,since a brief naval battle between China and Vietnam … Continue reading

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JAMES LAURENCESON. Morrison’s visit to the US shows his common ground with China (AFR 25-9-19)

Scan the headlines generated by Scott Morrison’s trip to the United States and you could get the impression that the Australian government is increasingly tilting towards supporting Washington in its economic war against Beijing.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM Bali alert! Busybodies at large

It was excruciatingly embarrassing. The hotel receptionist was adamant: We either proved our marriage or we left.  Voices were raised which drew more staff and onlookers to the foyer. Security guards appeared.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

RENUKA MAHADEVAN and ANDA NUGROHO. RCEP must move forward, with or without India (East Asia Forum 19-9-19)

As the international trading system grows increasingly strained under the escalating US–China trade dispute and the paralysis of WTO reform, many have eagerly called for the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of 2019. The ASEAN-led initiative is … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Nuclear arms treaty and umbrella states (Japan Times 12 Sep)

In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan noted the nuclear emperor had no clothes: “The only value in our two nations [United States and Soviet Union] possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would … Continue reading

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NICOLA NYMALM. Washington’s old ‘Japan problem’ and the current ‘China threat’ (East Asia Forum 11 Sep)

In April 2019, Kiron Skinner — former director of policy planning at the US State Department — described Washington’s new China strategy as built on the understanding that the current clash with Beijing ‘is a fight with a different civilization and a … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. PM in gaffe-strewn Indonesian TV interview

Scott Morrison has given a rambling error-littered interview to Indonesian TV where he fudged the figures of casualties in the 2002 Bali bomb blast. The Prime Minister told English-speaking journalist Andini Effendi that “more Indonesians were killed than Australians” when … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Media | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. Kashmir: the international dimension (Strategist 10 Sep 2019)

India’s decision last month to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy and statehood, break it into two union territories and merge them fully with the Indian union caught everyone unawares. The changes give effect to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s vision of India as one nation … Continue reading

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TSUYOSHI MINAMI. Are Japan and China really getting along? (East Asia Forum 7 Sep 2019)

Following the 2019 Osaka G20 summit, Japan–China relations appear to have entered a new period. While improved Japan–China ties are in the national interests of both countries, the ongoing US trade war with China is beginning to have significant effects … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. Indonesia’s Dr Strangelove takes final flight

Indonesia’s fourth president, the late Abdurrahman ‘Gus Dur’ Wahid, was never short of a quip. “First president (Soekarno, who had nine wives) was crazy about women. The second (Soeharto, who allegedly stole US$35 billion) was crazy about money.  The third (Habibie) … Continue reading

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RYAN MANUEL. The Hong Kong Government is as Leaderless as the Protesters (Foreign Policy, 5 September 2019)

A distant Beijing and a shifting protest movement make it hard to sit down at the bargaining table. Bruce Lee didn’t like conventional fighting styles, finding them too rigid. Instead, like jazz musicians with their scales, he took his many … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

COLIN BROWN. The Indonesia-Australia Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA): A Game Changer? (Australian Outlook, 5 Sep 2019)

Despite their geographical proximity, Australia and Indonesia are minor trading partners. In 2018, Australian merchandise exports to Indonesia were valued at just $6,823 million, and imports from Indonesia $4,996 million. Trade in services was smaller still, as the exports to … Continue reading

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YVES TIBERGHIEN. Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong: Toward a BRI 2.0? (Australian Outlook, 5 Sep 2019)

From 11 to 12 September 2019, the fourth Edition of the Hong Kong Belt and Road Summit is due to take place at the Wanchai Convention Center. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is now in its sixth year since … Continue reading

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