Author Archives: Peter Menadue

GEOFF RABY.  Xi Jinping: much more than just one man (The Interpreter, Lowy Institute, 16 July 2019)

Book Review: Xi Jinping: The Backlash by Richard McGregor (Penguin, Lowy Institute, 2019) Richard McGregor has written a dazzling account of the first six years of the Xi Jinping era and what he sees as the “backlash” to Xi’s increasing … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY.  The Problem with China’s Soft Power: It doesn’t have any( AFR 17 July 2017)

Last week the US Pace Gallery announced it was closing its flagship contemporary art gallery in the famous 798 art space and expanding at home.  Also last week, police squads and bulldozers moved in to demolish several more of Beijing’s … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

PERCY ALLAN. How to Avoid a Recession – why QI should replace QE

Both the IMF and the OECD say that monetary policy is largely exhausted so fiscal policy should now be used to ramp up economic growth held back by the triple Ds of high Debt, ageing Demographics and disruptive Digitisation (including … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Have Australians the heart for the Uluru statement? Losing the referendum would set back indigenous affairs by decades

There are many good reasons to support the latest plans to find a constitutional referendum question to encapsulate the principles of the Uluru statement from the heart. There’s the fact that it represents a good idea and good ideal – … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

STEPHEN DUCKETT.  Private health insurance needs a rethink

Australians are dissatisfied with private health insurance. Premiums are rising and consumers are dropping their cover, especially younger people, who are less likely to need health services. Those who are left are more likely to use services, driving insurance costs … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison wants Wyatt to shut up on Indigenous Australians

Scott Morrison really likes quiet Australians – as quiet as possible. So it was really no surprise that his response to his minister, Ken Wyatt’s modest and tentative proposal to consider reviving an Indigenous Voice through the Uluru Statement from … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Supreme Court sets Albanese a real test.

The muffled roar of applause last week was coming from Scott Morrison and the coalition, cheering,, of all things, the Supreme Court of Victoria.  Justice Peter Riordan reserved his decision over the maverick union leader John Setka’s appeal to block … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ABUL RIZVI: Government reveals details of its net overseas migration (NOM) forecast

The Government has at last revealed some details of its 2019 Budget forecast for a record breaking level of sustained NOM. The key is a significant increase in the net contribution from temporary visa holders. This would mean the current … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

CAVAN HOGUE.  Canada, Australia and the USA

Canada tries to differentiate itself from the USA but because of its proximity and similarities this is not easy. Australia has the opposite problem: we try to find similarities. Canada’s geography makes it easier for it to defy requests to … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 3 Comments

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE. US Foreign Policy Is A War On Disobedience (Medium, 7 July 2019)

In an excellent new essay titled “We’re Not the Good Guys — Why Is American Aggression Missing in Action?”, Tom Engelhardt criticizes the way western media outlets consistently describe the behavior of disobedient nations like Iran as “aggressions”, but never … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

Thai police seize 51 Pakistani Christian asylum seekers (UCANEWS Reporter, Bangkok, 8 July 2019)

Thai authorities in Bangkok have arrested 51 Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in an incident that has reignited fears among the city’s Christian refugees of another immigration crackdown on illegal immigrants. According to eyewitnesses, immigration authorities arriving in two police vans pulled … Continue reading

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JOHN QUIGGIN. The Murray-Darling Basin scandal: economists have seen it coming for decades (The Conversation, 9 July, 2019)

Nations behave wisely, Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban observed five decades ago, “once they have exhausted all other alternatives”. One can only hope that proves the case with water policy in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin, the nation’s largest river system and … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

LEONID PETROV.  “Love the North Korean Style: Alek Sigley’s Misfortune is a Coded Message”

Alek Sigley was expelled from North Korea for using the Internet Last weekend the world was baffled by the statement of the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) which explained why Alek Sigley, the Australian student who had studied at the Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang, was detained, investigated and expelled. Nobody, including seasoned North Korea watchers, could make … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM.  Morrison climbs aboard Plan A

Last week Anthony Albanese passed his first test – at least the one the magisterial examiners of The Australian devised for him. He had retreated, gloated the paper – caved, rolled over to the majesty of the ScoMo mandate. By … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JACK WATERFORD. Not quite Custer’s last stand, yet

Australia must have an independent defence policy as American power in Asia and the Pacific wanes. But there’s no reason to think us friendless. Hugh White is travelling the nation’s highways and byways trying to scare Australians out of their … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 13 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Australia and the refugees who come by boat

We have now all endured our third election in a row when boat turnbacks and the punitive treatment of refugees and asylum seekers featured.  The overwhelming majority of our politicians and the overwhelming majority of voters are agreed that the … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM.  Morrison cranks out surplus fetish

Scott Morrison has a new obsession – the budget surplus. In spite of his assurances to the contrary, this has not actually been delivered, and there are growing doubts that it will be – the storm clouds, the head winds … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 11 Comments

China is not an enemy (Washington Post letter, 3 July 2019)

Dear President Trump and members of Congress: We are members of the scholarly, foreign policy, military and business communities, overwhelmingly from the United States, including many who have focused on Asia throughout our professional careers. We are deeply concerned about … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

TREVOR WATSON. Crossing a line in the Korean sand; Trump goes where others have been before

Donald Trump’s crossing of the 38th Parallel into North Korea was a ten out of ten for symbolism. It was wonderful television and an outstanding PR move by the US President and the North Korean Leader, Kim Jun Un. The … Continue reading

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LOUIS COOPER. Trudeau fights for re-election

Canada has a national election in October and a recent poll shows the electorate is feeling worried and conflicted. Will Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party be re-elected?

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ROB MAINWARING. Centre-left politics: dead, in crisis, or in transition? (The Conversation, 24 June 2019)

The ALP’s defeat at the 2019 federal election was a surprise. Shorten’s Labor fell short, against both wider commentariat predictions and unrepresentative polls. Yet, if we take a step back, the result is less surprising if we locate Labor’s defeat … Continue reading

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HUGH WHITE.  With China’s swift rise as naval power, Australia needs to rethink how it defends itself (The Conversation, 2 July 2019)

Visiting Wellington in April 1996, I fell into conversation with a very wise and experienced New Zealand government official. We talked about the still-unfolding Taiwan Straits crisis, during which Washington had deployed a formidable array of naval power, including two … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 8 Comments

GEOFF MILLER:  Trump in North Asia; policy changes?

A lot of the reactions to President Trump’s visits to the G20 in Osaka and to Korea have been scathing, but there are some positive signs in regard to both US-China trade issues and negotiations with North Korea.  But having … Continue reading

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PETER RODGERS: Israel-Palestine and the Bahrain conference – Jared in wonderland

Whatever happens with Donald Trump’s presidency, the future of his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, is assured. A career as writer of romantic fiction is his for the asking.

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

MIKE BRUCE. No jobs here: Penalty rate cuts fail to fire up employment growth (New Daily)

Jobs growth in the retail and hospitality sectors has more than halved since the introduction of Sunday penalty rates, a new study has revealed.

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NARGES BAJOGHLI. Trump’s Iran strategy will fail (New York Times, 2 July 2019).

As tensions with Tehran escalate, Washington has been struggling to understand the internal thinking of the Iranian government, and especially that of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The organization, which functions as an elite military branch and a bulwark of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

ABUL RIZVI: South Australia – Canary in the Ageing Coalmine

In terms of the impact of population ageing, South Australia provides a glimpse into Australia’s future. Over the next decade, ageing will impact Australia more significantly than at any time in our post World War II history. By 2030, all … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. What are we to make of Iran’s nuclear program?

Iran’s nuclear program, never out of the news for long, is on the front pages of the world with President Trump’s insistence that his belligerence towards Iran is driven by a desire to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

STEPHEN KINZER. In an astonishing turn, George Soros and Charles Koch team up to end US ‘forever war’ policy (Boston Globe, 30 June 2019)

BESIDES BEING BILLIONAIRES and spending much of their fortunes to promote pet causes, the leftist financier George Soros and the right-wing Koch brothers have little in common. They could be seen as polar opposites. Soros is an old-fashioned New Deal … Continue reading

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JOHN CARMODY. The enduring farce of British politics

To Australian eyes, British politics appear relentlessly chaotic, even anti-social.  The solutions seem impossible to find, forever out of sight, let alone reach and – as in true tragedy – entirely self-inflicted.

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment