Category Archives: Asia

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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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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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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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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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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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

Posted in Asia, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

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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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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MARTIN WOLF. How the Beijing elite sees the world

How does the Chinese ruling elite view the world? Over the weekend, I participated in a dialogue between a handful of foreign scholars and journalists and top Chinese officials, academics and business people, organised by the Tsinghua University Academic Centre … Continue reading

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CHAS FREEMAN. On the Souring of Sino-American Relations

(Remarks to the Committee of 100) I am honored to stand before you this morning to discuss US-China relations.  It’s a challenge to speak on a subject so many here know so much about, and to do so at a … Continue reading

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JOSEPH A. CAMILLERI: Australia’s China policy mired in phobia and confusion.

Australia’s handling of its relations with China is rapidly descending into farce. Geoff Raby’s excellent piece (30 April) makes abundantly clear the principal factor at work, namely a nostalgic attachment to the US-led regional and global order of earlier years.

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TIM LINDSEY. Post-Reformasi Indonesia: The Age of Uncertainty.

Twenty years ago, the Soeharto era ended with reformation. Today’s post-Reformasi Indonesia is full of uncertainty, with profound implications for its foreign relations.

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RAMESH THAKUR. The Long Road to Nuclear Disarmament

With Donald Trump in favor of abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the world has been reminded once again how fragile the nuclear non-proliferation regime is. For this reason, it is more important than ever that the international community upholds … Continue reading

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MARIAM MOKHTAR. Mahathir’s Last Hurrah.

Critics of Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, used to joke that he would like to be prime minister for life. Today, that prediction may have a ring of truth, although others believe the incumbent PM, Najib Abdul Razak, would … Continue reading

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Malaysia Calls On Authoritarian Regimes To Monitor Its Democratic Elections!

The Malaysian Election Commission has just issued a staggering list of seven countries which they say have taken up its offer to come and monitor the up-coming elections to ensure they are free and fair – and free from fraud. … Continue reading

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BRIDGET WELSH. This Malaysian election is different.

Malaysia’s government has dissolved the Parliament to make way for the 14th General Election (GE14). The country will go to the polls on 9 May. From afar, this election seems like a repeat of the last election in 2013, when … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Korea : After Panmunjeom

Much has been written about the recent Kim:Moon Summit and its communique. The signs on the interKorean front are encouraging but all still hinges on how the Kim:Trump Summit. It will have to address the absolutely critical issue of “denuclearisation” … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. What rules based order?

Australia proclaims the importance of a rules based international order but it is not at all clear what those rules are, let alone who observes them and who doesn’t. Even where there is agreement on what the rule is countries … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Choreographing a wallaby-elephant pas de deux.

In January, Greg Sheridan wrote about a forthcoming report to the government by former foreign secretary Peter Varghese on how to elevate relations with India. Peter, who served also as High Commissioner to India, gives three reasons why India’s economic turnaround … Continue reading

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BEN GRAHAM Australia must warm to China or face economic punishment, expert claims

CHINA is not a rising power, it has already risen – and we can either embrace it now or face “punishment”, an expert says.

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RICHARD BUTLER. An Avalanche of Advocates

While the US will be without an Ambassador in Canberra for a while it can be forgiven for thinking it will be able to rely, on our own home-grown Alliance advocates.  

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. Finding ties that bind with Indonesia

In early April, NSW Governor David Hurley spoke about Indonesian-Australian relationships. Although largely ignored by the mainstream media his speech was not the usual white bread served by those elevated to positions supra-politics. Hurley launched some awkward statistics: * Thirteen … Continue reading

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JOHN McCARTHY. Australian foreign policy needs more silence.

Simon and Garfunkel sang of the dangers of the sound of silence. But in Australian Foreign Policy,  we need more of it.

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BEVAN RAMSDEN. Glimmer of hope for peace on Korean Peninsula glows more brightly.

Technically North and South Korea are still in a state of war. The cessation of hostilities in 1953 ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Now South Korea says it is considering how to change a decades-old armistice with … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security | 1 Comment

CLIVE KESSLER. Malaysia’s electoral fantasy belies worrying reality.

Malaysia’s fourteenth general elections (GE14) have finally been called. For almost a decade Prime Minister Najib Razak has ruled on recurrent hints of a snap, surprise election; this is the second time he has let the Parliament run close to … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. The current mess in Australia/China relations

The Australia/China relationship is at its lowest point since the bloody crackdown in Tian’anmen Square on 4 June 1989 which provoked western sanctions against China.  Arguably,  it is even worse now.  Back then the Chinese Government was bending over backwards … Continue reading

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