Category Archives: International Affairs

BEVAN RAMSDEN. Do the US Marines in Darwin pose a risk to our peace and security?

A recent US war exercise involving US Marines landing, capturing and securing an island off the coast of Okinawa is touted as a new US military strategy to use in its challenge to China in the South China Sea.  Is … Continue reading

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ANDREW CHUBB. China’s assertive maritime policy is older than Xi (East Asia Forum)

The toughening of China’s policies in the South and East China Seas is widely regarded as a defining characteristic of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy. But while it is true that the PRC has become more assertive in its maritime disputes … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The next clash between India and Pakistan (Japan Times 2.4.2019)

For many years, I have argued in these pages that the Indian subcontinent and the Korean Peninsula are among the least unlikely theaters of a nuclear war. The known consequences of a nuclear war mean a deliberate policy decision to … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. A response from the Chinese Community Council of Australia (CCCA)

The Chinese Australian community warmly thanks Prof Bob Carr for speaking out for the Chinese Australians and giving a detailed analysis of China panic over a period of more than 2 years.  Prof Carr’s suggestion of  a community response based … Continue reading

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TIM LINDSEY. Indonesia goes to the polls: rematch or replay? (University of Melbourne, 15 April 2019)

Indonesia goes to the polls on 17 April, with the same presidential candidates as five years ago: the incumbent, Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi), a self-made former furniture exporter and former governor of Jakarta, and Prabowo Subianto, a former general … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Australians with Chinese origins need to come together.

A new burst of messaging on China Panic has been unleashed by Four Corners and newspapers, again giving the impression that hostile forces are threatening Australia. Last month former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans noted  “a new form of Sinophobia … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. Indonesia – after the count – chaos?

The alphabet of election campaign hyperbole runs from Absurd through Fatuous and Stupid to Zero (as in logic).  Most statements are ephemeral for the nonsense spruikers know little is taken seriously once the losers are trampled by the triumphant. But in Indonesia pledges … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Extending the way to a viable Brexit?

Is the path to Britain’s withdrawal from the EU now finally clear, some three years after the Referendum that decided it should leave – to regain national sovereignty, to control its borders, and to conclude its own trade agreements with … Continue reading

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GIDEON LEVY. Israel’s new wretched republic.

On Tuesday, the Second Republic of Israel was born. It will be different from its predecessor. The First Republic chalked up impressive achievements, accompanied by lies and deceptions. The Second Republic will dispense with any pretense. 

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MACK WILLIAMS. Australia and the United States more than joined at the hip?

The recent Morrison Budget and the subsequent public commentary had precious little new to add to policy debate about future foreign policy directions for Australia other than to cut again our overseas aid budget – to an accumulated 27% since … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH. The vanishing international interest in the Mideast

How curious that the US fought on the same side as Iran’s Revolutionary Guards last year to defeat ISIS in Syria and then, once the job was done, denounced them as a terrorist organisation and applied sanctions. How curious that … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. How long to extradition for Assange?

WikiLeaks watchers had been expecting it for weeks, but when news came on 11 April that Ecuador had revoked Julian Assange’s asylum, a collective shudder went around the extended community. Next day the pictures appeared, and they made it worse. … Continue reading

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RONNIE KASRILS. I fought South African apartheid. I see the same brutal policies in Israel.

As a Jewish South African anti-apartheid activist I look with horror on the far-right shift in Israel ahead of this month’s elections, and the impact in the Palestinian territories and worldwide.

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RICHARD BUTLER. Brexit: Wilful Blindness

The manic pursuit of Brexit by PM May, against all the facts and reason, dismisses any clear sight or recollection of the relevant history of Europe. Her actions will determine the future of the UK as presently constituted and, have … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. China’s Efforts to Curb Australia’s Academic Freedom: What Universities Can Do.

There’s been a vigorous debate of late in Australia about the extent of Chinese government interference in domestic politics. Less has been said about what occurs on our university campuses. Pressure from the Chinese government comes in numerous ways, including … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Education, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. Uncertainty on the Bosphorous as Erdoğan deals with a humiliating setback.

These are interesting times for Turkey, particularly for its president, Recep Tayyap Erdoğan. For a man accustomed to a Winx-like winning run in elections, the recent municipal polls gave him a rare poke in the eye. His AKP coalition won … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. The Competence of our Intelligence Agencies

On 6 April, the ABC’s Geraldine Doogue interviewed Nick Warner, head of the Office of National Intelligence (ONI), which coordinates the activities of Australia’s intelligence agencies. During the interview, Warner ventured the opinion that President Trump did the ‘right thing’ … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI Trump’s wall- bordering on chaos

Trump threat to cut off aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, will be counter-productive. The refugee ‘caravans’ will not stop, but increase. He will also further alienate the Mexicans, who refuse to pay for the wall along their border … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH. Shalom! Farewell to the Palestinian state.

When it comes to audacious political chutzpah, few can match Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister, desperate for re-election this week and anything but assured in the polls, frantically tossed a grenade into the campaign at the last minute. If … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. Wresting China diplomacy back from the securicrats.

In the fading days of the Morrison Government, two important decisions are likely to be overlooked. Both came last week.  One was to establish the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations and the other the appointment of a new Ambassador to … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Real diplomacy could have avoided China’s coal revenge (Australian Financial Review, 3 April 2019)

The ban on Huawei itself isn’t the problem, but the way that some arms of the government rubbed China’s face in it.

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JOHN MENADUE. The anti- China ‘think tank’ receives farewell largesse from the Coalition

 In this week’s budget the Australian Strategic Policy Institute received an enormous increase in government funding from $3.528m in 2017/18 to $20m in 2018/19.( Budget Papers -3.1.2 Grants ,Tables 39 and 40) .If the grant is for more than one … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. The battle for the Chinese Australian vote.

Important lessons learned in the last state elections in Victoria and NSW point to the ubiquitous use of social media “WeChat” in influencing voters in the Chinese Australian community and the realisation that their votes could be pivotal in changing … Continue reading

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YELENA BIBERMAN, JARED SCHWARTZ. Pakistan is ready for stability in Afghanistan (East Asia Forum).

The Afghan government has an unexpectedly ardent advocate in current peace negotiations between the United States and Taliban—Pakistan. This surprising supporter has been providing sanctuary to the Taliban, thereby placing a pricey bet on its alleged proxy’s recapture of Afghanistan … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. Ukraine, clowns and comedians.

It looks very much like Ukraine will elect a TV comedian with no political experience as president. Since Australia is ruled by clowns at the moment we are hardly in a position to criticise!

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TIM COSTELLO. The Foreign Aid Program continues to be treated like an ‘ATM’

Despite delivering a budget surplus, the Coalition has chosen to keep aid at its least generous level. This is not surprising from a government who have lost sight of our nation’s role as a global neighbour and treated our aid program … Continue reading

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MARY KELLY. The horrifying reality of a military occupation.

I recently spent some months living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  I was shocked, deeply distressed and angered by what I witnessed on a daily basis. Palestinians living under the Israeli military occupation experience a relentless, dehumanising, brutal and intimidating … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, International Affairs | 4 Comments

CAMERON LECKIE. Built on a tower of lies.

The world is going, or perhaps has gone, crazy. How else can we explain Trump, BREXIT, the Gilets Jaunes (yellow jackets) in France, new weather records becoming a regular event, or an ever intensifying Cold War between the Russia, China … Continue reading

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MARK RAGG. Christchurch: Some of the media examines its role (Croakey).

The awful murder of about 50 people in Christchurch  has prompted a flurry of questions around a central theme – why? Does the rise of nationalism play a part? Is racism more acceptable now that 20 years ago? What role … Continue reading

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MARTIN WOLF. The Brexit delusion of taking back control (Financial Times 27.3.2019)

From Beijing, where I now am, the UK looks small. It also looks as if it has fallen into the hands of lunatics engaged in an astonishing act of national self-harm. 

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | 2 Comments