Sunday 29 Nov 2020 | 16:15 | SYDNEY

Asia and Pacific

Southeast Asia through Chinese eyes

Armed with your questions, David Cohen and Peter Martin from Sinocentric are conducting a series of interviews on behalf of The Interpreter with Chinese intellectuals and academics. We\'ll be speaking next Tuesday to Tang Qifang, a Southeast Asia specialist at the

Reader riposte: Aid to Latin America

Paul Cotton responds to Wendy Jarvie, who wrote about the lack of Australian aid to Latin America: Your article could be read as stating that 20 million people in the Pacific are poor (living under $2 per day). This is misleading and would not be acceptable to all the people of the Pacific

Interview: Commercial aviation in China

You might say the story of China\'s commercial aviation industry is, writ small, the story of modern China itself: full of breathtaking advances but also huge shortcomings which tend to get overlooked in the hyperventilating about a rising China. Chad Ohlandt is an aerospace engineer

Interview: Etihad CEO James Hogan

Did you know China is planning to build 45 new airports in the next five years? Granted, some of this capacity is probably going to be excessive or at least misplaced. Chinese provincial governments have form when it comes to building white-elephant prestige projects, and airports are

Engagement with Asia pays off

Further to Stephen Grenville\'s excellent piece on the strength of Australia\'s markets, here is your re-assuring chart of the day: Australia\'s major goods and services markets in 2010. Exports on left, imports on right: When it comes to merchandise trade (goods, not services),

Paul Dibb on China military rise

I\'m sympathetic to Paul Dibb\'s broad point that commentary about China\'s military build-up is a bit overwrought, though when he closes his recent op-ed by saying that we should not \'frighten ourselves to death by drumming up the next military threat to Australia and basing our defence policy

Engagement wasn't easy or automatic

Geoff Miller is a former Australian Ambassador to Japan (1986-89) and a former Director-General of the Office of National Assessments (1989-95). In his post of 10 August Michael Wesley says inter alia that my reading of his book \'There Goes the Neighbourhood\' was \'tendentious at best\', and

1942 was simple compared to this

Of all the reasons I had for writing There Goes the Neighbourhood, giving offense to Australia\'s former and serving diplomats was not one of them. Yet something about the book has caused Geoff Miller to take such personal and collective umbrage as to drag him into a reading of its

ASEAN: Putting Indonesia on the radar screen

Lina Alexandra is a researcher at the Department of International Relations, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta. This post is part of the New Voices series. In December 2010, the Indonesian Foreign Minister was asked what kind of role Indonesia would like to

Communicating the Malaysia deal

Dr Khalid Koser is a Lowy Institute Non-Resident Fellow and Academic Dean at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. In his post for The Interpreter last week, Andrew Carr identified as a principal assumption behind the Malaysia deal that asylum seekers will learn about the new policy and decide

Through Chinese eyes: Pan Wei (part II)

Armed with your questions, David Cohen and Peter Martin from Sinocentric speak to Peking University political scientist Pan Wei. Part I can be found here. From Megan Fennell: Can China learn from Western countries in its process of political reform? Actually, the West has a lot of

Resetting our relationship with PNG

It is not often we hear Papua New Guinea described in public by a federal politician as a top foreign policy priority and a country with which Australia has a joint destiny. Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop did just that in an excellent speech to the Lowy Institute\'s

The cool peace between China and India

Shashank Joshi is a PhD candidate at Harvard University and an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. This post is part of the New Voices series. Over the past twenty years, India has become reacquainted with greater Asia. The story is well-known; it runs from the

That easterly wind is picking up...

This is the most authoritative report I have yet seen that China is constructing aircraft carriers of its own (two of them, apparently). Granted, it\'s still an anonymous source, but up to now, it\'s been only internet chatter and rumour. To see Reuters attach its name to a report like this

Malcolm Fraser baffling China speech

Geopolitics wasn\'t meant to be easy. But former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser does himself, China and sensible strategic analysis a triple disservice in this recent Asia policy speech at the Australian National University. The short version — an equally ill-structured blog post 

Assumptions behind the Malaysia deal

I think the Malaysia asylum-seeker swap is good policy. It is another small step towards a long-term regional solution to the problem. There are, however, a number of big assumptions built into the agreement: Asylum seekers will learn about the deal, and decide it isn\'t worth

US-China: Not by bread alone

Jeffrey Wilson argues that the China market, while big, is not that big, so our economy would get by OK without it. He concludes that we need not worry too much about having to choose between the America and China. He suggests, therefore, that we need not be too anxious about the risk that US-

Through Chinese eyes: Pan Wei (part I)

Armed with your questions, David Cohen and Peter Martin from Sinocentric speak to Peking University\'s Pan Wei, a political scientist who has written extensively about the \'China Model\'. Next week, in part II, the professor explains why he no longer believes China needs the rule of

Australia and China higher education revolution

Philipp Ivanov is an education consultant, formerly with the University of Sydney Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific. This post is part of the New Voices series.In May this year, China\'s Suzhou University announced plans to open a campus in Laos — the first

Seeing red on China

Europe rolls out the red carpet for China, while the US too often sees China through a red mist. Building on that image from The Economist, Australia is peering through the red dust of a resources boom to make sense of a giant relationship that must become a partnership.  Some of the

Reader riposte: Australia-China grand bargain

Robert Ayson, Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University, Wellington, writes: Graeme Dobell\'s draft for an Australia-China pact recognises the gap in Australia\'s growing stable of bilateral concords: it does not have one with its leading trade partner, with the

US-China: Sunny side up

Geoffrey Garrett is CEO of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Hugh White\'s reaction to my \'It\'s the economy, stupid\' corrective to the national security-dominated debate about China-US relations and what they mean for Australia was predictable. He concedes

In Bali, ARF must bite as well as bark

It\'s rare that an institution with as dull a title or vague a mandate as the Association of South-East Asian Nations Regional Forum makes headline news. But tomorrow\'s meeting of the ARF in Bali is likely to do just that. It will be a critical test of Asia\'s ability to manage maritime security

The grand bargain fine-print

Here is some draft (not daft, please) text and explanation of what this column has grandly named the Australia-China Pact of Engagement, Amity, Cooperation and Economic Partnership. The PEACE Partnership is an attempt to capture the ambitions and the adventures involved in a grand bargain

Doubts about Leahy Afghanistan plan

I have been hesitant to use my long-ago experience in Vietnam as a basis to enter the debate about Australia\'s role in Afghanistan, not least because of the great differences between the two countries. But General Peter Leahy\'s suggestion that Australia is pursuing the wrong Afghan strategy and

US-China: The risk of market failure

Geoff Garrett is quite right that economic interdependence between the US and China provides major incentives for both sides to avoid strategic rivalry and conflict. But I\'m not as confident as he seems to be that these incentives will be strong enough to counteract the pressures the

Kachin state: The war between China and India

Dr Nicholas Farrelly is a Southeast Asia specialist at ANU. In 2006 he co-founded New Mandala, which deals with Southeast Asian regional affairs.This post is part of the New Voices series. In June 2011 a 17-year ceasefire between the ethnic minority Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the

There more to development than money

 Annmaree O\'Keeffe is a Lowy Institute research fellow. She has served as Australian Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and Deputy Director General of AusAID. There\'s no doubt about it. Hugh White is right when he wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Tuesday 19th July that economic

Listen up! Asia new voices

While Australians have been rightly charged with apathy about the momentous changes taking place to our north, there is a growing wealth of expertise on Asia among the young professionals and scholars of this country. On Friday 8 July, the Lowy Institute hosted its 8th annual New Voices

Korea wants nukes (South Korea, that is)

Crispin Rovere is part of the APLN Secretariat, and a PhD Candidate at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU. Views are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of APLN. A recent survey shows 67% of South Koreans want US tactical nuclear weapons (withdrawn in 1991)

Conservatism and the China question

To me, the most fruitful line of questioning in response to my recent Wednesday Lowy Lunch presentation on conservatism in international relations was on the subject of change. Several questions came from the audience on this point, and it\'s also Richard Green\'s theme in his Reader

Gee, is that a G2 I see before me?

One joy of the ANU China Update series is that they bring out the book of the conference the day before the annual talkfest takes place. Ross Garnaut claims it\'s the only conference in the world to achieve this feat. Thus, rather than risking the chills and fogs of Canberra this week, you

Why Wibowo matters, and why he doesn't

Greta Nabbs-Keller is writing a PhD at Griffith Asia Institute on the impact of democratisation on Indonesia\'s foreign policy. I read with anticipation Natalie Sambhi\'s reply to my post about the promotion of Lieutenant General Pramono Edhie Wibowo to Indonesian Army Chief of Staff,

Malaysia asylum deal: The good, bad, and ugly

Dr Khalid Koser is Head of the New Issues in Security Program at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and a non-resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. It is being reported that the Australian Government has finalised its controversial asylum deal with Malaysia. Under the original

Egypt democratic history

Dr Giora Eliraz is an Associate Researcher at the Harry S Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his article, \'Indonesian democracy: The myth of \'98\', Stephen Grenville argues that my post, \'Indonesia\'s role in Egypt\'s democratisation

US-China military relations still tense

Behind the handshakes and formalities, military relations between the US and China remain strained. Of course it\'s good to see the US-China defence dialogue occurring once more, after Beijing suspend it for most of 2011. But there is little hint of a meeting of minds or worldviews in the visit to

'The poor' in Thailand election

In the analysis that has followed the election victory of Pheu Thai, led by Yingluck Shinawatra, commentators have repeatedly identified the support that she and the party received as coming from \'the rural and urban poor\' (see The Australian and various articles in The Economist as examples

Indonesian blues

A week late, but via Greg Sheridan comes this amazing and disheartening statistic: ...there are fewer Australian Year 12 students taking Indonesian now than there were in the 1970s. The same trend of decline is evident in universities. Earlier this year I signed up for a TAFE night

Australia Network: The tender trap

What to make of the mess that the Australia Network tender process has become? Yesterday, Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham, who has been assiduously probing the progress of Australia Network tender in Estimates hearings, moved that all the reports and briefings prepared by the \'assessment

The martial roots of Indonesia democracy

Greta Nabbs-Keller is writing a PhD at Griffith Asia Institute on the impact of democratisation on Indonesia\'s foreign policy. Last week saw confirmation of a senior command change for Indonesia\'s Army (TNI-AD) that could have important implications for Indonesia\'s political landscape. In

The need for a line in the water

Stephan Fruehling is a lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Program, ANU. Hugh\'s post continues a fruitful debate about the Asian order, US policy and the rise of China. I think the future of Asia should not, and does not have to be, a new Cold War — but a

The danger of a Thai civil war

The depressing reality is that a clear-cut election victory in Thailand may not settle anything. The people have voted decisively but the popular voice is far from decisive. Politicians still tear at each other, the King totters slowly towards his grave, the military and the elite agonise, and

Why China won't compromise at sea

Andrew Carr has distilled an important question out of our recent paper on maritime security in Indo-Pacific Asia: what accounts for Beijing\'s ambivalence about maritime confidence building, something which seems so conducive to Chinese interests? After all, such confidence building

Yes, there is a US consensus on China

Sam is right to see some tension between the different ways that influential Americans like Nicholas Burns and Mike Green describe their county\'s strategic objectives in Asia. But for what it\'s worth, I think Nic and Mike really do see America\'s purpose in Asia the same way. Both of them,

Indonesia confronts the death penalty

Ari Sharp is an Australian freelance writer based in Jakarta. He tweets @arisharp. On 18 June, Indonesian maid Ruyati binti Sapubi was executed by beheading in Saudi Arabia after she was convicted of murdering her employer who, according to Ruyati, had kept her in the country against her will. The

Closing the language divide in Timor-Leste

Gordon Peake worked in Timor-Leste from 2007-11. He is Visiting Fellow at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, Australian National University. I can still remember my first teenage disco and how, well, just plain awkward I felt. I wanted to interact with these mysterious

Indonesian democracy: The myth of '98

The idea that Indonesia might be a model for Egypt\'s emerging democracy has been discussed before on The Interpreter. This post by Giora Eliraz brings the story up to date, but it is seriously misleading in the impression it gives of the history of democracy in Indonesia. Let me not get

Friday funny: Propaganda

It\'s not hard to make fun of North Korea, but this 2001 insurance commercial does it particularly well. Enjoy your weekend. (H/t China Defence Blog

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