Tuesday 24 May 2022 | 12:12 | SYDNEY

Australia in the Asian Century

Australian science in the Asian century

Professor Andrew Holmes is Foreign Secretary of the Australian Academy of Science. He is Melbourne Laureate Professor of the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne and a CSIRO Fellow. Australia is a competitive, collaborative top 20 country in science. But unless we take a strategic

Ken Henry crafts his White Paper (III)

Part 1 of this article is here and part 2 is here.  Consider a single political-diplomatic start date for the idea of the Asian Century. It is 1988 and Deng Xiaoping is meeting Rajiv Gandhi. China\'s leader tells India\'s Prime Minister: \'The 21st century can only be the Asian

Ken Henry crafts his White Paper (II)

Part 1 of this article here. The Asian Century White Paper has to be broad enough to touch the conceptual edges of the Defence White Paper that will come out in the middle of next year. Notice the key word here is \'touch\' rather than \'enmesh\' or \'integrate\'. The two White Papers will

Ken Henry crafts his White Paper (I)

Matching the message to the audience is one of the defining choices in any attempt at communication. The problem for the White Paper on the Asian Century is the myriad of messages and the multiplicity of audiences — in Australia and beyond. Ken Henry is near the finish in his

WR Mead on Asia future order

Below is part 3 of my interview with renowned US foreign policy analyst Walter Russell Mead; part 1 here and part 2 here. Q. Walter, you again make an intriguing comment near the close of your previous answer, so I\'d like to ask you about \'the emergence of an Asian society of

Interview: WR Mead on Asia 3D chess

Below is part 2 of my interview with renowned US foreign policy analyst Walter Russell Mead; part 1 here. This interview series will mark the close of our Australia in the Asian Century feature, though you\'ll note from Walter\'s answer below how easily this discussion flows into the

The costs of Indonesia democracy

Peter McCawley is a Visiting Fellow at the Indonesia Project, ANU, and former Dean of the Asia Development Bank Institute, Tokyo. Stephen Grenville (\'Democracy and Indonesia\'s economy\') notes that government decision-making has become much more difficult in Indonesia since

Say g'day: Tourism in the Asian century

Just as the American journalist James Fallows believes modern China can be viewed through the prism of its aviation industry, I have long thought that a pretty good study of modern-day Australia could be written by examining its tourism sector. Like shrimp on a barbeque, there are so many

Interview: Walter Russell Mead on Asia game of thrones

Below is the first instalment of my interview series with renowned US foreign policy analyst Walter Russell Mead, Editor-at-Large for The American Interest and author of Special Providence and God and Gold. He also runs the lively Via Meadia blog. Walter has been kind to the Lowy

Democracy and Indonesia economy

Indonesia is getting good press, with fulsome praise for both the post-Soeharto democracy and the performance of the economy. There are some links between the two. Democratic performance is usually judged in terms of whether the elections went smoothly, whether the diversity of the

India pile-on misses soft-power gains

\'It\'s open season for criticising India\'s leaders\', notes veteran Delhi-watcher John Elliot in his blog at The Independent. He\'s right, of course. Pack-like creatures that we are, the past week or so has seen a global media pile-on. Time\'s cover portrait across much of Asia this week

Life of a Japanese salaryman

In my search for images to accompany blog posts, I often find photos that are amazing but just not quite right for that particular post. For John Larkin\'s recent piece about Asia\'s male-dominated corporate sector, I was looking for a crowd shot of Asian white collar workers, preferably all male

All change for Asia

Australia is being told of \'dramatic\' shifts to its society and institutions because of the Asian Century. Being changed by Asia is not new; but the fact that this is being openly discussed, even embraced, does mark a departure from previous habits. Often in Australia, the big shifts start

Women locked out of Asia boardrooms

John Larkin reported from Asia for more than a decade for the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine, and is now based in Australia. Western economies can learn from Asia\'s resilience against financial crisis. But Asia\'s male-dominated corporate sectors could take a cue from more egalitarian

Asian echoes in Horne masterpiece

Not long after arriving in Sydney, I ran into a young Australian architect who outlined what seemed like an astonishingly heretical theory: that the best way to improve the quality of local architecture was to demolish the Sydney Opera House. Jorn Utzon\'s unfinished masterpiece, he reckoned, had

Reader riposte: Understanding China Party

Geoff Miller, a former Director-General of the Office of National Assessments, writes: In his comment of 4 July, Hugh White roundly criticises Australia\'s efforts to understand and form a relationship of trust with China, and wonders whether we can grasp the notion of such a relationship with

Asian Century linkage: Corruption, Cambodia, China banks and more

Indonesia dialing back its openness to foreign investment. \'The first question we should ask ourselves is: what kind of future does China want for itself?\' George W Bush\'s National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley, on China\'s rise. Another side of Japan: a tour through some of Tokyo\'s

The 2011 Census and the Asian Century

Danielle Rajendram is a Research Associate in the Lowy Institute\'s International Security Program whose work focuses on India and China-India relations. Graeme Dobell cites recent census figures about languages spoken in Australian homes to argue that Australia has come a long way in its

Lucky in the Asian Century

A key submission to the Asian Century inquiry – perhaps a foundational text – is a work that is fast nearing its 50th birthday. In contemplating the grand task of an Asian future for Australia, Ken Henry would well understand the many layers of thought in Donald Horne\'s The Lucky

China: Our failure of imagination

The fresh perspective in Linda Jakobson\'s excellent Policy Brief on managing our relations with China brings out all kinds of things that have escaped my attention but now seem clear, and very important.  Our relationship with China is now arguably more important to us than any

Reader riposte: Jakobson Australia-China paper

Dennis Argall writes: Linda Jakobson\'s analysis and recommendations for Australia-China relations are timely and sound. The history of the degradation of Australian government approaches to the relationship is disappointing. Recent trends reflect elements that have worked on the relationship for

Doco trailer: Last Train Home

A synopsis from the official website: Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos, as all at once, a tidal wave of humanity attempts to return home by train. It is the Chinese New Year. The wave is made up of millions of migrant factory workers. The homes they seek are the rural

China: The 'uneasiness of the unknown'

Soon after I began delving into the study of Australia-China relations upon moving to Sydney 14 months ago, a senior Australian official told me: \'Our top leaders find China too hard; just too hard.\' It isn\'t just the lack of English-speaking counterparts in China, nor the cultural

China quickening pace in space

Dr Morris Jones, who has written previously for The Interpreter, is an Australian space analyst. There is a condescending tone to much of the international reportage on China\'s recent space docking and expedition to its first space laboratory, Tiangong 1. Commentators applaud China\'s

India no longer shining

Just as Washington\'s bookstores were piled high at the turn of the century with works celebrating America\'s global primacy, Delhi\'s were awash with titles proclaiming the rise of India. Almost each month, it seemed, a new book would appear with cover artwork depicting a tiger squaring up to a

Time to deepen Australia-China ties

I notice Linda Jakobson\'s new paper (Australia-China ties: In search of political trust) is already getting a lot of attention on Twitter. Here\'s her video summary

Reader riposte: Ediplomacy detour in Indonesia

Dr Shannon Smith, a Jakarta-based public relations consultant who was Counselor (Education) at the Australian Embassy, Jakarta, from 2005-2010, writes: Thanks Fergus Hanson for a very thoughtful response to my riposte. Fergus brings the ediplomacy discussion usefully forward to

The currency of China prerogatives

Australia is being forced to become more sensitive to China\'s prerogatives in everything from currency flows to resource projects to the application of foreign investment rules. In meshing our economy with Japan, Australia was able to retain a US dollar frame of reference that happily cohabited

Asian Century linkage: Thai censors, China in space, Asia haze and more

Southeast Asia\'s smoky haze is back. Whose fault is it? (Thanks Milton.) China-Japan: New public opinion survey suggests high levels of mutual mistrust. Mao\'s Great Leap Forward on film. Google is doing the bidding of government censors in Thailand. The Wall St Journal\'s Japan Real Time

Reordering Australia Asia preferences

Trade and economic interests are not always definitive, but they have obvious weight and, most importantly, they influence the hierarchy and slow re-ordering of national preferences. The shift of economic weight has cumulative effects on preferences which feed into judgments about national

Doco trailer: 'Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry'

I\'m late to this one, as the film actually screened at the Sydney Film Festival a couple of weeks ago. But if the trailer attracts you to this documentary about dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (\'I don\'t think I am a dissident artist; I see them as a dissident government.\'), then keep

James Fallows on China take-off (4)

Below is the fourth in a series of email exchanges with James Fallows, author of China Airborne. You can find part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here. Q: One of the reasons your aviation case-study is so telling is that modern civil aviation can only truly flourish within a system

China, Japan, ROK go for FTA gold

John Larkin reported from Asia for more than a decade for the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine, and is now an Australia-based writer. It looks a good idea on paper. Three huge Asian economies — China, Japan and South Korea — will start talks later this year on a free

China and the middle-income trap

In today\'s Linkage, Sam sends us to this Free Exchange post on Greece, China and the Middle-income trap. It references this World Bank report on China 2030 and in particular the discussion set out in Box 1 on p.12, as summarised in this powerful chart:  The story of this picture

Australia no longer home alone

The Asian Century conversation chips away at one of the deep-seated sources of Australian insecurity: the sense of being home alone. The good news for Australia in the Asian Century is that we are all in this together. This is not just feel-good, team-building stuff; it reflects the hard numbers

James Fallows on China take-off (3)

Below is the third in a series of email exchanges with James Fallows, author of China Airborne. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here. Q. James, despite the depth and variety of US-China ties, which you described in your first answer, is it fair to say that America\'s policy elites

That 'great national project' again

I see that I have raised some libertarian hackles at the Centre for Independent Studies. This is perfectly understandable. When you lightly toss around phrases like \'great national project\' to describe Australia\'s embrace of Asia you are bound to get sceptical glances from those

Korea chaebol in the firing line

John Larkin reported from Asia for more than a decade for the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine, and is now a writer based in Australia. Korea\'s giant conglomerates, the chaebol, have dominated the economic landscape for decades. Nearly a third of Korea\'s GDP is produced by the top 30

James Fallows on China take-off (2)

Below is the second in a series of email exchanges with James Fallows, author of China Airborne. You can find part 1 here. Q. James, my second question concerns what we might call China\'s \'status anxiety\'. In your book, you seem to find no economically rational explanation for

James Fallows on China take-off (1)

Below is the first in a series of email exchanges between myself and James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and a long-time China watcher. He\'s also a pilot and all-round aviation enthusiast. James\' new book, China Airborne, documents China\'s extraordinary aviation ambitions

Reader riposte: An independent foreign policy

David Lang writes: When I think about the future of the United States in Asia, I become concerned with the myriad of challenges that Australia is likely to face. As has been eloquently explored across many public fora, the times they are a-changing. However, Daryl Morini\'s piece on Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser Whitlam Oration

Daryl Morini is a PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland. He is Deputy Editor of e-International Relations. Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser\'s Whitlam Oration, delivered earlier this week, provided a fascinating and blunt discussion of Australia\'s role in the Asian Century.

Asian Century: Should I just relax?

In their different ways, both Daniel Woker and Richard Green told me last week that I was being a bit uptight about Australia\'s relations with Asia and perhaps overstating the stakes when I suggested that Australia\'s integration with Asia is a great national project on a par with reconciliation,

Reader riposte: Australia no e-diplomacy slouch

Dr Shannon Smith, a Jakarta-based public relations consultant who was Counsellor (Education) at the Australian Embassy, Jakarta, from 2005-2010, writes: The decline of Australian public diplomacy capabilities is at a critical point. At its lowest point in years, some have been looking

Asian Century Linkage: Burma, Green China, Kim Jong Il will and more

From a World Bank report: \'...the railway sector in China has been a pioneer in integrating environmental impact analysis and management into infrastructure projects.\' (H/t China Bystander.) And in related news, The Economist has a new report out on China\'s renewable energy sector. We\'re a

Asian security: Long climb to Shangri-La

Asia does some things differently. So the biggest annual gathering of Asia Pacific defence ministers and officials is a public-private partnership between the Singapore Government and a British think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, sponsored by worthy companies such as

Indonesia: What good for the Gaga...

Tom McCawley is a Jakarta-based journalist and analyst. Some Indonesians and foreign observers were perplexed at the Islamic moral outrage surrounding the cancelled visit of pop star Lady Gaga.  Gaga was scheduled to perform on 3 June, but promoters cancelled the event due to threats

The slow death of British Australia

Constantly I am amazed at how \'the British way\' retains its permeating influence in so many areas of Australian national life.  As the Queen prepares to celebrate her diamond jubilee, it is worth remembering that much of this country marks her birthday every year with a public holiday, a

Asian Century linkage: China, Toyota, Singapore, Facebook and more

High levels of hidden private consumption in China. Western Australia\'s love affair with Singapore. China is committed to expanding nuclear power generation, yet the regulatory environment is poor. Nice infographic of Facebook penetration in Asia. India is set to overtake the US as