Category Archives: International Affairs

RAMESH THAKUR. What Sank the Kim-Trump Summit?

The abrupt cancellation of next month’s planned meeting between the North Korean and US leaders should surprise no one. Developments in recent weeks exposed three factors that doomed the initiative to collapse.    

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CAVAN HOGUE. Korea: the Hermit Kingdom rises again?

The peace negotiations on the Korean Peninsula remain fragile and neither the USA or the DPRK trusts the other. Neither side has been specific about what they will accept and the question remains what it has always been. What does … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. US Ultimatum to Iran: A Classic or a Fake?

Secretary of State Pompeo’s speech to roll out the US Plan B on Iran’s nuclear programme was an ultimatum and, a plan for regime change in Iran. The ultimatum will be rejected but without the classic follow up; in this … Continue reading

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CLIVE KESSLER Mahathir, Anwar and the Islamic threat.

Malaysia’s recent national elections either announced a new dawn or they simply mark the beginning of another dark and difficult time in the country’s much-contested political story.

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Australia must position itself in Asia (ABC radio interview with Hugh White)

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/australia-must-position-itself-in-asia-expert-says/9794492

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URI AVNERY. The Day of Shame

ON BLOODY MONDAY this past week, when the number of Palestinian killed and wounded was rising by the hour, I asked myself: what would I have done if I had been a youngster of 15 in the Gaza Strip?

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WANNING SUN. Is Anti-China Rhetoric Harming Social Cohesion in Australia?

In September 2016, I published a major report on the Chinese-language media in Australia, and one of the points I made there was that the state Chinese media have been making gradual inroads into Australia’s existing ethnic Chinese newspapers and … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Attempts to appease Trump will end badly

When the Iran deal was signed three years ago, it met with stiff opposition from hardliners in Tehran and Washington. The former were infuriated at closing off possible pathways to the bomb while the agreement lasts in return for sipping … Continue reading

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DMITRI TRENIN. Russia and Ukraine: From Brothers to Neighbours.

Russia is parting ways with both Ukraine and Belarus. This did not have to be a tragedy with Ukraine, and can still be handled amicably with Belarus. Moreover, an independent Ukrainian state and a Ukrainian political nation ease Russia’s transition … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. United States and Israel: Known By the Company We Keep.

In our voting with the US against a resolution of the UN Human Rights Commission to establish an independent enquiry into recent Israeli use of lethal force against Palestinian demonstrators, we have shown far and wide, our subservience to the … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH. Count Australia out on Iran, Uncle Sam.

A U.S. presidential executive order makes it illegal for America to target a foreign leader for assassination. But it seems it is perfectly acceptable to try to throttle another country’s struggling economy as a means of getting rid of its … Continue reading

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HENRY SIEGMAN. The two-State solution: an autopsy

During the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza, Israeli security forces, using high-powered rifles and live ammunition, have killed forty Palestinians (and counting), and wounded more than five thousand. B’Tselem, a leading Israeli human rights group, Human Rights Watch and … Continue reading

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TAREQ BACONI. What the Gaza Protests Portend

The battle against infiltration in the border areas at all times of day and night will be carried out mainly by opening fire, without giving warning, on any individual or group that cannot be identified from afar by our troops … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. Australia’s lame response to Anwar Ibrahim’s detention was a mistake

The region looks to Australia as a functioning democracy. We shouldn’t sideline human rights issues for trade and security ties.

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MICHAEL O’KEEFE. Why China’s ‘debt-book diplomacy’ in the Pacific shouldn’t ring alarm bells just yet

Talk of Chinese “debt trap” diplomacy is nothing new, but a recent report by Harvard University researchers has resurrected long-held fears that China’s debt diplomacy poses a threat to Australian interests in the Pacific.

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JOSE BELO and MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Timor-Leste’s new leaders warn president

Former presidents Xanana Gusmao and Tuar Matan Ruak scotch unity government talk Overwhelmingly Catholic Timor-Leste could be heading for more political strife despite a coalition headed by independence hero Xanana Gusmao having a clear win in May 12 elections.

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Australia, China and three fragments of militarisation in context.

The term ‘militarisation’ is the new portmanteau expression for describing China’s initiatives in the South China Sea; it is at once accusatory and exculpatory: China is the instigator, the Western powers and those Western-aligned (defensively-minded, and innocent) are exonerated from … Continue reading

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RICHARD TANTER. Tightly Bound: Australia’s Alliance-Dependent Militarisation.

Australia’s unique military and intelligence relationship with the United States, combined with the country being geographically a part of Asia but historically, culturally and intellectually identified with the Anglo-Saxon world, have significant implications for Canberra’s current military modernisation. Richard Tanter … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. Praying is fine – Action is better.

Five guards and an inmate died in a Jakarta prison riot last week, allegedly launched by Islamic State.  More than 150 terrorists are held at the overcrowded jail where turmoil erupted six months ago.  Then early on Sunday church bombings … Continue reading

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DAVID COWARD. The man who did for Mao – a review of a biography of Simon Leys by Philippe Paquet

In 1932, Malcolm Muggeridge, then based in Moscow for the Manchester Guardian, filed reports of what he had found out about Soviet Russia, from the food shortages and forced labour to the deaths of 3 million people following the collectivization … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Julie Bishop – Foreign Minister or Senior Consular Officer

In this blog and elsewhere, Geoff Raby, a former Australian Ambassador to China, has pointed out that Australia’s relationship with China is unlikely to improve until Julie Bishop is sacked as Foreign Minister.  The departure of Julie Bishop as Foreign … Continue reading

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TIM COSTELLO. The Budget and aid.

The Coalition Government’s fifth budget last week was carefully calibrated to offer just enough to a discontented electorate to restart the political contest ahead of the poll expected early next year.  Yet again Australia’s battered aid program took a hit, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

JOCELYN CHEY. Caught in the middle: Chinese Australians feel unwanted

International disputes between contending powers frequently result in persecution of local ethnic minorities.  Look at how local German and Japanese communities were treated during the two World Wars, for instance, or how people of Middle Eastern background have been profiled … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. China relations can only be unfrozen with Julie Bishop’s sacking

Once again Australian foreign policy seems to be missing in action. As events unfold at remarkable speed in our area of most strategic interest – north-east Asia – Australia finds itself unable to engage with the key participant at the … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. Malaysia’s first new government in six decades revels in a shocking victor.

The surprising Malaysian election results show yet again that we shouldn’t put faith in polls and pundits. Despite serious gerrymandering and other bits of nastiness the Barisan Nasional lost the election. The return of Dr Mahathir raises questions about the future. … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. US and the Iran Agreement: True Lies and Chaos.

In explaining his decision on the US leaving the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA), President Trump told a number of true lies. His National Security Advisor, John Bolton, then told the truth: it was to conform with Israel’s wishes. Israel and … Continue reading

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CAMERON HILL. China’s policing assistance in the Pacific: a new era?

While there has been renewed discussion and debate surrounding China’s infrastructure assistance to Pacific nations over the last several months, less attention has been paid to China’s growing policing and law enforcement presence in the region. While still in its … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Spring blossoms on the Korean Peninsula.

The leaders of North and South Korea have met, shaken hands, taken symbolic yet hugely consequential steps across into each other’s territory, talked about possible pathways to peace on the peninsula, issued a joint communique, and returned home well satisfied … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. VIP culture is a blight on India’s democracy – a culture of impunity lies behind India’s rape epidemic

Solving India’s sexual violence crisis means holding the perpetrators of wrongdoing accountable – no matter their power in society. For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this means ending the VIP culture within his own party.

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: Crashing out a real possibility

The Brexiters deeply distrust the motives of the Remainers who are seeking ways and means of frustrating the process of withdrawal as exampled by the House of Lords’ actions recently requiring that the final draft agreement be submitted to Parliament … Continue reading

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