Category Archives: International Affairs

MIKE SCRAFTON: NATO 2018 and Communique Dread

Dread and angst must be haunting the corridors of Europe’s foreign and defence ministries. The NATO Heads of State and Government will meet over 11 to 12 July 2018 in Brussels and the question of the communique will already be … Continue reading

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German chancellor’s tense standoff with hardline interior minister “endangers existence of gvernment as substantially as the stability of the country”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing strong pressure to tighten her country’s refugee policies to avoid the collapse of her coalition government as the heated row over the handling of migration intensifies.

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KEN MOAK. US-led naval operation will not change China’s posture.

At the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue, the defense ministers of France and the UK announced that their governments will send warships to join those of the US in challenging China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea  (Naval Today, April 6). … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Singapore: Sound and Lights  

Trump told us that, in Singapore, he would make it up as he went along. It appears that he kept his word on that. Afterwards he told the world that if it all tanks, he will “make up an excuse … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. America’s frightened allies.

Donald Trump has spent the last three years scaring the crap out of his allies, but suddenly it has become serious.  His predilection for ruthless dictators, traditionally anathema to America and its allies, has now got to the point where those … Continue reading

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GEOFF MILLER. Trump-Kim Summit: What happens after a “day from a science fiction movie”?

Kim Jong Un was reported to have said that his meeting with Trump was like scenes from a science fiction movie.  At times the TV coverage—all those banners—did seem rather like that, but what happens next?  I think that at … Continue reading

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North Korea: Beyond Charismatic Politics, an Interview with Byung-Ho Chung

The following is an interview of Byung-Ho Chung Professor at Hanyang University and President of the Korean Society for Cultural Anthropology, conducted by AAA Executive Director Ed Liebow.

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Bangladesh wake-up call on sexual abuse for Asia’s bishops.

The case of Father Walter Rozario bears all the hallmarks of denial, cover-up and silencing victims seen in the West. 

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MACK WILLIAMS. North Korea – managing Donald !

Amid the avalanche of reporting and commentary of the Singapore Summit one needs to step back to assess just how the Trump’s much vaunted (by him) negotiating style so far has played out . This is not just an academic … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The Kim–Trump Summit: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Australian Outlook. 15/6/2018)

Despite praise for Tuesday’s “unprecedented” meeting, there were good reasons why previous US administrations had refused multiple requests from North Korean leaders to meet. The results of the Kim–Trump summit so far can be divided into the good, the bad … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. Looking down from the Trump/Kim summit: a geopolitical view

Of the risks attendant on the summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jung-un, the most grave is that the geopolitical consequences will be ignored.

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ANDREW FARRAN. The fog of the Irish Sea still overhangs Brexit.

The House of Commons vote on 12th June has saved Prime Minister May for another day but has also left open the role Parliament might play in the outcome of the EU negotiations. A (definitive) White Paper on Britain’s negotiating … Continue reading

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SIMON ROUGHNEEN. How Beijing is winning control of the South China Sea (Nikkei Asian Review 13/6/2018)

Erratic US policy and fraying alliances give China a free hand.  

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AURELIA MULGAN. Deja vu all over again in US–Japan trade.

From the late 1970s until the 1990s, US-Japan trade relations were marred by regular bouts of economic friction. These periods often peaked in tandem with rises in the United States’ trade deficit with Japan and ended in ‘voluntary’ Japanese concessions … Continue reading

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PAUL KRUGMAN. Debacle in Quebec. (New York Times, June 9,2018)

For all their pomp, most multilateral summit meetings are boring and of little consequence. I once spoke to a State Department official who had a role in putting these meetings together; he described his job as “policing the nuances,” which … Continue reading

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DANIEL RUSSEL. A Historic Breakthrough or a Historic Blunder in Singapore?

Kim Jong Un May Have Outwitted Trump at the Summit.

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PEPE ESCOBAR. The key word in the Trump-Kim show

By reaffirming the Panmunjom Declaration, the US President has committed to bringing its military back from South Korea and thus a complete denuclearization of the South as well as the North.

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HANS HENDRISCHKE and WEI LI. Chinese investment in Australia falls as political debate hits confidence

Chinese direct investment in Australia has declined, according to a new report by the University of Sydney and KPMG. In 2017, the value of investment fell by 11% in US dollar terms, from $11.5 billion in 2016 (A$15.4 billion) to … Continue reading

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GARETH HUTCHENS. Australia should not join US in South China Sea operations, says retired defence chief (The Guardian 21/2/2017)

Activities in the South China Sea continue to be in the news.  Published below, are comments made in February last year by Sir Angus Houston, who was formerly Australia’s defence chief.  John Menadue.  

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CAVAN HOGUE. Digger mates in Singapore?

We have two countries and individuals with a well established record of breaking treaties, agreements and promises who tell us they have established a relationship of trust. How reassuring! At least for the time being they have stopped threatening and … Continue reading

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THE LOCAL. Italy demands apology for France’s ‘hypocritical’ criticism on migrants.

Italy on Wednesday summoned the French ambassador and postponed planned finance talks, in an escalating diplomatic spat with France over the handling of a migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

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DENNIS ARGALL. Trump-Kim, Korea, China and the future.

The underpinnings of Australian strategic utterances are slipping away. There will be, it is the way the world is, a flood of “yeah, but…” comment on the Trump-Kim Singapore summit. Not least because the number of experts on Korean affairs … Continue reading

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RENE PFISTER. Merkel’s dark view of the world we live in.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is watching with deep concern as the pillars of the postwar international order collapse. But what is she doing about it? 

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MARIAN SAWER. Foreign donations and beyond.

In the furore over Chinese political donations, the broader electoral reform agenda can easily be forgotten. Australia was once a pioneering democracy but it has fallen behind in protecting its reputation for electoral integrity and political equality.

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PAUL WALDMAN. Trump’s effort to isolate us from the world is going great.

In 2013, before travelling to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant, Donald Trump asked plaintively on Twitter whether Vladimir Putin would be attending, and “if so, will he become my new best friend?” Putin never showed, and President Trump is … Continue reading

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YANIS VAROUFAKIS. The Italian crisis was the left’s final warning: it must adopt a new, credible EU policy agenda.

It’s time to explain how the bloc, and the euro, could be run differently, democratically and sustainably.

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NORMAN BAILEY. The Russian Gordian Knot begins to unravel.

Winston Churchill famously described the Soviet Union as “A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Many commentators and politicians say Vladimir Putin’s Russia is every bit as mysterious and enigmatic as its predecessor. An astonishing recent declaration by … Continue reading

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STEPHEN F COHEN. The Necessity of a Trump-Putin Summit.

Ten ways the new US-Russian Cold War is increasingly becoming more dangerous than the one we survived.

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TIM COLEBATCH. Underestimating China.

Let’s clear up any confusion about the size of the Chinese economy.

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MIKE YEO. France is deploying forces to the Indo-Pacific for more than just a drill.

MELBOURNE, Australia ― France will be deploying a detachment of combat aircraft to the Indo-Pacific region for a major air exercise in Australia and for additional interactions with Asian air forces, as France seeks to increase its presence in the … Continue reading

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