Category Archives: International Affairs

DENNIS ARGALL. In a changing world, who are we, where are our eyes and minds?

In what is perhaps a fantasy endeavour – to find Trump’s objectives in recent travel and assess outcomes – I suggest three. And in this essay, I look further into global and perceptual actions and needs… and the lack of … Continue reading

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Kim Jong-un says “Me too”

I meant “wouldn’t” denuclearize.  

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CAVAN HOGUE. Putin, Trump. Morals and Australia

Trump has shown little political savvy and even less powers of analysis. However, it is hard to see the USA as having the moral high ground to justify the hysterical moral outrage generated by Trump’s incompetence when it has done … Continue reading

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PATRICK LAWRENCE. What’s going to happen when Assad wins the war in Syria? (Asian Times, 17.07.18)

Given the unexpected pace of events in recent weeks, the end of Syria’s seven-year agony appears to be very near. It is now all but certain that Bashar al-Assad’s government will win its long war against Sunni jihadists and their … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. Australian Government silent on OPCW Report

On 7th April 2018 an incident occurred in the Syrian city of Douma, 10 km North east of the capital Damascus. It was alleged, initially by the jihadi extremists occupying the city that a nerve gas attack had been carried … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Trump/Putin : Finnish Rhapsody

In a most unusual Trump/Putin media conference in Helsinki it seemed that the notably absent participant was Robert Mueller.

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TONY KEVIN. Trump-Putin Summit 16 July: an assessment

This was a most unusual summit, preceded and followed by a torrent of mostly negative Western MSM comment on the theme that ‘Putin will win this, and Western interests will lose’.

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PEPE ESCOBAR. China’s silky charming of Arabia (Asian Times, 11.07.18)

President Xi Jinping has promised more than $23 billion in loans and aid to Arab states, as Beijing ramps up ties with the Middle East; this includes aid for Palestine; Beijing foresees importing a whopping $8 trillion from Arab states … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. Lessons from China’s 40 years of reform – a very personal reflection

 I am delighted to have been asked to open this conference [the China Economists’  Conference] which is occurring on the 40th Anniversary of the launching of China’s reforms and open-door policies, policies that have changed China and the world.

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KARL WILSON with Steve FitzGerald – Opening-up: The view from down under (China Daily 12/07/18)

Stephen FitzGerald (right) and former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam meet Chairman Mao Zedong on Nov 2, 1973, in Beijing. Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China reflects on decades of transformation Editor’s note: This year marks the … Continue reading

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HANKYOREH EDITORIAL. President Moon’s vision for peace and prosperity after denuclearization

In a “Singapore Lecture” during the final day of his state visit to Singapore on July 13, President Moon Jae-in outlined his vision for an inter-Korean economic community and peace on the Korean Peninsula. It could be seen as his … Continue reading

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GAURAB SHUMSHER THAPA. China and Nepal reach across the Himalayan divide (Asia Times 6/7/2018)

Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to China last month was closely watched by both domestic and international observers.  

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BOB CARR. Get-tough rhetoric has denied us any sway with Beijing (AFR, 10/07/18)

As foreign minister I recall an irritating flare-up in our relations with one of the Pacific states. There had been a “misunderstanding” at Sydney airport that upset the island state’s prime minister. The anger ran strong and the state contemplated a big anti-Australian … Continue reading

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JEAN-MARIE COLLIN. The Nuclear Illusion Strikes Again (La Tribune, 08/06/2018)

The issue of NW’s, everyone’s, is riddled with hypocrisy. This is a great example; from France, an ardent defender of the Iran agreement and, a country which played a major role in Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.

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‘Being Muslim’ lifestyle sweeps Indonesia (La Croix International, 07/07/18)

Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp is claiming a first in Indonesia — halal refrigerators — after the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) granted the manufacturer halal status. It’s the latest indication that Islam is being commoditized in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

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PETER DRYSALE AND SHIRO ARMONSTRONG. Getting Australia’s geopolitical and economic strategies aligned (Australian Financial Review, 08/07/18)

Australia, it has been said, is faced with hard choices in strategic policy because its principal security partner is the United States and its major trading partner, China. By defining Australia’s national interest comprehensively where both China and the United … Continue reading

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TOM HUSSAIN. In Pakistan’s currency crisis, China is the problem and the solution. (South China Morning Post 7/7/2018)

Having racked up unsustainable bills in supporting Beijing’s infrastructure master plan, Islamabad is bailed out by China to the tune of US$1 billion – leaving it more dependent than ever on its ‘all-weather ally’.  

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BERTIL LINTNER. As Trump turns away, China gains in Myanmar (Asia Times 4/7/2018)

US leader has left predecessor Obama’s engagement policy to wilt on the vine, giving Beijing an opening to renew its trade and security agendas Does US President Donald Trump have a distinct policy towards Myanmar, and if so how does … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. BREXIT. Where’s Boris?

It was mid-afternoon on the Monday (9th July) and the assembled Eastern European Foreign Ministers had visited London to hear an address by Foreign Minister Boris. But where was he? Boris had a major distraction from his day job.

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BHIM BHURTEL. India’s myopic ‘muscular’ neighborhood policy (Asia Times 2/7/2018)

Despite one “muscular diplomatic” debacle after another, India has been unrelenting in its bullying attitude toward its small and weak neighbors. India is imposing another economic blockade on a third South Asian country, Maldives.  

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FINTAN O’TOOLE. The long Irish 19th century is finally over (Irish Times)

We are, finally, reaching the end of Ireland’s long 19th century. I don’t mean that Ireland didn’t have a 20th century or that many momentous things did not occur within it. The visible landscape changed dramatically and so did social … Continue reading

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ANDREW SALMON. South Korea unveils plan for N Korean economic enrichment (Asia Times 3/7/2018)

Ideas for the North’s development and regional integration, while ripe with promise, face obstacles and remain dependent on the US and denuclearization South Korea presented its master plan for North Korean economic cooperation to the public last week, laying forth … Continue reading

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RICHARD A. BITZINGER. US, China cash in on Asia’s growing appetite for arms.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has just released its data on the global arms trade for 2017, and it is big news for Asia as a whole, and for China and the United States in particular.

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ANDREW FARRAN. South Pacific Islands responding to security concerns

The Pacific Islands Forum will announce a new Biketawa Plus Declaration at its forthcoming Ministerial summit with fresh directions and priorities for members in the face of external pressures on the region, not least from China and Russia. There will … Continue reading

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GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Trump and Putin – One last word

My unfulfilled ambition was to put a new word into the English vocabulary. May I make a last attempt with an ugly word for an ugly thing? It is ‘neo-victimism’. It defines the dominant element into today’s great power relations.  

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: All in the National Interest

British PM Theresa May is presently holding the strategic high ground on Brexit after the day-long meeting with her whole Cabinet at Chequers last Friday. To her formerly disputing colleagues she could announce that evening:  “Collective responsibility is now fully … Continue reading

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GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

A regular connection of links to writings and broadcasts covered in other media.

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RAMESH THAKUR. Australia and the Quad (The Strategist)

On 18 January, admirals from Australia, India, Japan and the US sat together on stage at the high-profile Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi. Their presence reflected the shared strategic assessment that China has become a disruptive force in the Indo-Pacific. … Continue reading

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Kevin Rudd on Xi Jinping, China and the Global Order (Asia Society Policy Institute 26/6/2018))

(On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, Asia Society Policy Institute President Kevin Rudd delivered an address to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore for The Significance of China’s 2018 Central Foreign Policy Work Conference. Below … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Korea: what should Australia be doing?

While the pace of media reports about the Korean Peninsular has slowed a little since the Singapore Summit there has been much going on – in public and under wraps. Skepticism about the North’s commitment to the core issue of … Continue reading

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