Category Archives: International Affairs

PETER RODGERS. Morrison and Jerusalem – what a way to run a foreign policy!

Scott Morrison’s revelation last October that he was thinking about relocating Australia’s Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem should go down as one of 2018’s crassest comments. For the PM was not “thinking” at all. Casting the possible relocation as shock … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: When is a horse not a horse? When it is a camel.

This note was prepared following a five hour emergency Cabinet meeting last night accepting the deal with the EU and a brief statement without details by the British PM, Theresa May, declaring that the draft Agreement was the best deal … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. What is History?

President Macron’s warning against growing nationalism and the need to ensure the preservation of values, as against unalloyed selfishness in international relations, was an important way to mark the Centenary of the end of the First World War. Trump was … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Will Japan’s Love Affair with Nuclear Power be Resurrected?

On Friday 11 March 2011, a tsunami knocked out emergency generators at Fukushima Dai-Ichi, resulting in melt-downs in three of six reactors, covering the countryside in eastern Honshu with radiation. Some isotopes were short-lived, others will be around much longer. … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM.Jerusalem and a Free Trade Agreement with Indonesia

  Now here’s the weirdest thing about the way we handle policy with the neighbours:   Canberra politicians are proven fumblers and bumblers when dealing with big Muslim-majority Indonesia. Yet at the Australian National University just a ten-minute bike ride … Continue reading

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Saudis Close to Crown Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies a Year Before Khashoggi’s Death (New York Times, 11.11.18)

WASHINGTON — Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

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PAUL O’CALLAGHAN. For Caritas Australia, bankrolling the Pacific misses the mark.

At Caritas Australia we have long been in the business of supporting the grassroots development of our Pacific neighbours.

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Bob Carr replies to China critics (Australian Financial Review, 12.11.18)

That the mob always gets it right is cornerstone wisdom of Australian politics, often confirmed by polling that shows the public’s deeply rooted common sense.

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RICHARD McGREGOR AND JONATHAN PRYKE. Australia must tread carefully in its Pacific contest with China. (SMH 9.11.2018)

If you want a glimpse into the future of Australia’s relationship with China, with all the elements of competition and co-operation, and tensions and bridge-building, then this week is a good place to start.  

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JONATHAN FREEDLAND. US democracy is in crisis. But Trump is only the symptom (the Guardian, 10.11.18)

The talk in the US is of constitutional crisis. It’s been looming for a while, thanks to the Mueller investigation into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin efforts to swing the 2016 election. At some point – perhaps … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN: A Response to Prof John Fitzgerald article “How Bob Carr became China’s Pawn”.

Political debate on  foreign policy between Australia-China  in conjunction with Australia-US relations is an important issue for the 1.2 million Chinese Australian community.  It is also an important issue for Australia  as this  will dictate our future prosperity and leadership … Continue reading

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ROHAN FOX, MATTHEW DORNAN. China in the Pacific: Is China engaged in “debt-trap diplomacy”?

Recent media coverage has touted the rise of Chinese aid and lending as a threat to Pacific nations’ sovereignty and to the West’s influence in the Pacific. China, so the narrative goes, is aggressively lending to smaller nations who do not have … Continue reading

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TONG ZHAO. Why China Is Worried About the End of the INF Treaty.

The U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty reflects Washington’s long-standing concern that the treaty constrained its ability to counter China’s fast-growing missile forces in the Asia Pacific. This article was published by Carnegie Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy on the … Continue reading

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BENEDICT COSGROVE. Kicking “Charismatic” to the Curb.

Smart people have long argued among themselves about what language does, and doesn’t do. But pretty much everyone agrees that, if nothing else, language evolves. Words and phrases that were perfectly serviceable for decades, or even centuries, take on fresh … Continue reading

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ISHAN THAROOR. The party of Trump goes fully far-right (Washington Post, 08.11.18)

In the run-up to Tuesday’s midterms, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) faced mounting condemnation over his openly white-supremacist politics. King has a long record of demonizing minorities, fulminating over the decline of white “civilization” and courting extremists who peddle racist conspiracy … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI. US Mid-Terms: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I hail from a country (Norway) that doesn’t have mandatory voting, yet gets close to 80% of eligible voters turning up at the polling booths, around the same as in Australia. Although I am philosophically opposed to mandatory voting as … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. What is it to be with China – cooperation or conflict? A response to Peter Jennings of ASPI.

In a prominent article in The Weekend Australian’s ‘Inquirer’ section on 3/4 November, headed “Canberra alone must control our China ties”, the director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, castigates the Victorian government, a large delegation of leading … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has become a ‘go to’ organisation for anti Chinese commentary A repost

The important agents of influence in Australia are organisations linked ‘hip to hip’ to the US and its military/industrial complex. One of these is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which is an enthusiastic supporter of almost all things American including … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 5 Comments

ANDREW DEBLANCO. The long struggle for America’s soul.

Apparently, the selfevident truth that all people deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is far from settled. This article was published by The New York Times on the 7th of November 2018. 

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Beijing’s spin on Xinjiang camps is not fooling anyone.

Communist regime has offered a string of justifications for its inhumane treatment of the Uyghur people.  This article was published by UCA News on the 6th of November. 

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DAVID HUTT. Timor-Leste developing closer ties with China.

Southeast Asia’s newest and poorest nation needs funds that Beijing is poised to provide to fuel what some see as Dili’s misguided oil and gas ambitions.  This article was published by Asia Times on the 2nd of November 2018. 

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GARETH HUTCHINS. Joseph Stiglitz: ‘America should be a warning to other countries’

In the lead-up to his Australian visit, the renowned economist warns of the triple threat of rising inequality, the undermining of democracy and climate change.  This article was published by Tne Guardian on the 5th of November 2018. 

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NOAM CHOMSKY. Members of Migrant Caravan Are Fleeing from Misery & Horrors Created by the U.S.

As President Trump escalated his attacks and threats against the Central American migrant caravans making their way to the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration unveiled new sanctions against Venezuela and Cuba on Thursday. National security adviser John Bolton declared Venezuela, … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. Troubled by truth telling in Indonesia

Does the present government really understand Indonesia? Or want to? Ministers get detailed briefings from diplomats in Jakarta squirreling away in our biggest embassy, plus wisdoms from academics close to home.

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ABUL RIZVI: Is Dutton Frustrated by the Success of Turnback Policy?

After Scott Morrison’s success in implementing boat turnbacks, and Shorten insisting he will maintain that policy, Dutton’s role in this space has largely been confined to scaremongering. At last he has found a role he excels in. But like the … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. New Cold War: Just how independent can Australia be ?

As renewed discussion grows pace in Australia about being less dependent on the United States in any Cold War against China how realistic is that option? For one thing we would need to loosen some of the linkages which have … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Rohingya refugee crisis hits Myanmar’s economy (UCANews, 30.10.18))

While the Rohingya crisis and the escalating problems in Kachin and northern Shan State are grabbing headlines, Myanmar’s sagging economy and the withdrawal of investment by Western nations threaten to hit the largely impoverished nation the hardest.

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RAMESH THAKUR. Preventing Mass Atrocities.

Tyranny is not restricted to any particular religion, culture, civilisation or gender. Political rule based in terror rather than citizen’s welfare, safety and security is a universal moral failing. The Westphalian system of sovereign states spread from Europe to cover … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. Australia and its Israel Embassy: What are they thinking?

 According to recent media reports, the Liberal candidate in the Wentworth (Sydney) by-election, former diplomat David Sharma said he “was open” to the idea that Australia’s embassy in Israel could be shifted from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In a separate … Continue reading

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MOHAMAD BAZZI. How Saudi Arabia wins friends (New York Times, 29.10.18)

After the Khashoggi murder, the kingdom has fallen back on the tactic of wielding its oil wealth to buy loyalty.

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