Wednesday 21 Aug 2019 | 11:50 | SYDNEY

Australia in the Asian Century

Asian development in an Asian Century

David D Arnold (pictured) is president of The Asia Foundation. It is no wonder that political and economic analysts have dubbed our era \'The Asian Century\', and quite timely that we will soon be seeing the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century commissioned by Prime Minister Gillard

Reader riposte: Faith in Indonesia

Duncan Graham writes: Sam, I agree with your reasons regarding the lack of political will and add a couple more. The standard journalist\'s opening line for stories about Indonesia has been \'the world’s most populous Muslim nation\' for so long it must be embedded in the mind of

Interview: Ambassador to Indonesia

Australia\'s Ambassador to Indonesia, Greg Moriarty, dropped by the Lowy Institute on Monday to talk about his impressions of the country and Australia\'s relationship with Jakarta. Here\'s what Greg told me about how the country has changed since he was first posted there in the late \'90s. I also

Indonesia: Decades from now...

Our resident Indonesia expert Dave McRae interviewed Professor Hugh White recently about the long-term future of Indonesia, a future in which it will be stronger than Australia. The theme here is similar to those in Hugh\'s most recent post in our debate thread on Indonesia: what will it

Relax, Australia is already becoming Asian

Dr Daniel Woker is the former Swiss Ambassador to Australia, Singapore and Kuwait and now a Senior Lecturer at the University of St Gallen.  To Sam Roggeveen\'s crie de coeur that Australia\'s entry into the Asian Century must become a national project, akin to reconciliation

Indonesia: Australia must change

Four observations on the excellent debate on our relations with Indonesia and especially on Sam\'s most recent post, which takes us into some deep water. A favourable environment Sam is on to something with his analogy with multiculturalism. It goes to the heart of our approach to the region

Reader riposte: A great national project?

Richard Green writes: The idea of treating The Asian Century as a \'great national project\' akin to multiculturalism raises an interesting point about leadership. I think of Australian multiculturalism as one of the great successes of Australian history, yet the contribution of our leaders was

Asian Century: A great national project?

I\'ve found the responses to my Indonesia questions enlightening but I\'m not completely satisfied. I think I need to sharpen my argument a little. I\'ll start by asking a slightly different question: if all the steps recommended by Stephen Grenville, Fergus Hanson, Duncan Graham and Malcolm

How to improve Australia-Indonesia ties

Sam has provoked a nice discussion on the relationship with Indonesia, which I recently argued in The Australian \'must rank as one of our greatest foreign policy failures\'.I agree with what Malcolm Cook, Stephen Grenville and David McRae have suggested. These ideas all contribute towards Stephen\'

Know Indonesia, know thyself

Ariel Heryanto is an Associate Professor of Indonesian Studies, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.One fundamental issue has concerned me over and above the specific details about how to improve Australia-Indonesia relations being debated on the Interpreter. The number of Australians studying

Language teaching is all about culture

Ben Moles is an intern in the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute. I followed the Asian languages in Australia debate with great interest last year and am glad to see it is a recurring theme in the Australia in the Asian Century feature too. How could it not be

Politics holding Indonesia back

With two of the three international credit rating agencies now ranking Indonesia as \'investment grade\', foreign investors (and foreign journalists) have noticed the \'good news\' story of the Indonesian economy. The story has actually been going on for more than a decade. Indonesia sailed

Asian Century linkage

A global opinion poll finds views of Europe sliding, China rising. (Thanks Malcolm.) The cancellation of the Jakarta Lady Gaga concert is the hook for this interview with academic Merle Ricklefs on the deepening influence of Islam in Javanese society. (Thanks Dave.) A

The Australian Century?

I\'ve got a couple of upcoming talks at Bruegel and Chatham House. Bearing in mind Daniel Woker\'s point about European perceptions of Australia, I\'ve been thinking about content.  My pitch is going to be that Australia provides a useful perspective on the changing nature of the

Education: An Asian-inspired policy solution

Arjuna Dibley was Australia\'s representative to the PABM. He recently returned from Malaysia and Indonesia, where he was a Prime-Minister\'s Australia-Asia Award holder. As we hurtle towards (or just wake up to the fact that we are now in) the Asian Century, there is growing discussion about

Into Asia: How infrastructure can help

Peter McCawley is a Visiting Fellow at the Indonesia Project, ANU, and former Dean of the ADB Institute, Tokyo.  Stephen Grenville\'s post on Asia\'s infrastructure deficit raises the question of how Australia\'s economic relations with Asia might evolve over the next

China: What 'grinding poverty' means

I may have recounted once before the story of a Chinese delegation, visiting the Lowy Institute, exhorting us to visit not just China\'s gleaming new mega-cities but to \'look behind the couch\' at China\'s under-developed interior. This is a reasonably common tactic from Chinese officials and

Asian Century linkage

Peter Hartcher\'s piece about Tony Abbott\'s apparent conversion on Asian language study is worth your time. Gareth Evans spoke on the Asian century theme in Melbourne last week. McKinsey podcast on China\'s insatiable energy appetite. The Asia Foundation has a new data visualisation

Indonesia: Just a means to an end?

Talk of losses averted or gains to be made positions engagement with Indonesia as a means to an end. The case for the benefits of greater engagement and the risks of complacency has been made often. But engagement should also be an end in itself. My life is enriched every

Asia infrastructure deficit

Thanks to the strenuous efforts of US and European central banks to stimulate their moribund economies, government borrowing costs are historically very low. US ten-year bonds are paying less than 2%. At the same time, we know that much of South-East Asia is critically short of public infrastructure

Reader riposte: The Indonesia balance

Duncan Graham, who runs a blog called Indonesia Now, responds to Sam Roggeveen\'s post about Australia-Indonesia relations: The situation is unbalanced. We go there in thousands – few come here. Count the number of Asians in aircraft arriving in Australia from Indonesia. The

Islam, liberalism and Indonesia culture wars

A liberal Muslim writer on a book tour has angered hardline Islamist groups in the latest round in Indonesia\'s culture wars.  Irshad Manji, a Canadian feminist writer and activist, has provoked the wrath of Islamists for promoting a tolerant, critical, version of Islam in her latest

Spinning a web with Indonesia

Sam asks for specific suggestions to help our underdone relationship with Indonesia. I\'ve got nothing against a high-profile \'major leadership gesture\', but many years ago a wise observer told me that the most useful relationship with Indonesia would comprise a spiderweb of ties that

Indonesia: Reversing our losses

It is good to see the Asian Century discussion focus on contemporary Indonesia-Australia relations with Sam\'s thoughtful questions, Alex Thursby\'s hope for a better done Indonesia-Australia relationship, and Raoul Heinrichs\' realist gloom about Australia risking a security dilemma

My Indonesia questions

On Monday, Alex Thursby from ANZ took to The Interpreter to make the case that Australia needs to turn around its perceptions of Indonesia, and think about developing a relationship as mutually rewarding as the one we have with the US. It\'s fair to say that Thursby\'s position is a variation

Asian Century linkage

When it comes to oil, China doesn\'t trust free markets, so it will pursue an \'indirect approach\', \'disrupting hostile alliances and replacing them with a network of well-armed friends or client states along key oil routes.\' (H/t Browser.) One-sixth of all prostitutes in Australia are Korean

Indonesia-Australia: A relationship 'underdone'

Alex Thursby is CEO of ANZ\'s Asia Pacific business and a career banker. Why is it that the conversation in Australia about Indonesia is so \'underdone\'? Notwithstanding the warmth evident during President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono\'s successful visit here, the public conversation is largely

Asian century also an intellectual shift

I should respond to Dr Daniel Woker\'s recent post, \'The Limits of the Asian Model\', if only to clarify my original comments. Rather than calling for Australia to adopt Asian models, my intention was merely to make two fairly anodyne observations. First, that in a country which traditionally

South China Sea: Storm in a tea cup

Brendan Taylor is Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University. It\'s more than flattering to attract attention from Michael Wesley and Hugh White, two scholars I greatly admire. But its also left me feeling a little like a shrimp caught between two

Why the South China Sea matters

I was somewhat surprised to read Brendan Taylor\'s matter-of-fact statement that the South China Sea isn\'t really a vital interest for any of Asia\'s great powers, except perhaps for China. I\'m not so sure about this, for two reasons. First, the South China Sea is emerging as the

The limits of the Asian model

Dr Daniel Woker is the former Swiss Ambassador to Australia, Singapore and Kuwait. In his post of 27 April, \'Australia\'s head-start to the Asian Century\', Nick Bryant develops an interesting storyline of Australia moving from \'imitative country\' (with an adopted, not

Poverty and growth: How aid can help

Lawrence Haddad is Director of the Institute of Development Studies in the UK. The debate in these pages on the case for aid resonates with one we are having in the UK: is aid about poverty reduction or economic growth? I have blogged about this topic in Development Horizons. A March

The importance of China latent power

Brendan Taylor\'s post on Asia\'s shifting power balance shows his characteristic mix of grace and insight. I usually end up agreeing with Brendan. For years he has been telling me I\'m wrong to see Japan as a great power in Asia\'s emerging strategic order, and I\'m starting at last to

China re-balancing?

In 2010, China\'s current account surplus was over 10% of GDP. Just a year later the surplus had fallen to less than 3% as imports grew faster than exports. The International Monetary Fund is expecting a further fall to 2.3% this year, before rising to around 4% over the next few years. Does

Asian century linkage

Good news from the Philippines, no longer Southeast Asia\'s economic laughing stock. (Thanks James.) \'At present our universities survive on foreign students paying high fees. Will this flow of revenue continue if a Chinese or Indian student can get a Stanford or MIT qualification at home?\'

Asia emerging donors: China (part 2)

Part 1 of this post, an interview with He Wenping from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on China\'s growing aid program, appeared last Friday. 4. Are there comparisons that can be drawn between China\'s and India\'s aid programs? The main areas of aid in China\'s and India\'s

Asia emerging donors: China (part 1)

Translation by Dirk van der Kley, an intern in the Lowy Institute\'s International Security program. As part of the Lowy Institute\'s focus on the rise of Asian aid donors we are planning a series of blog posts that will look at how these \'new\' emerging donors, namely China and

Australia head-start to Asian Century

This is not so much a lucky country, according to the overarching critique by post-war Australian intellectuals, as an imitative country. \'I didn\'t mean that it had a lot of material resources,\' wrote Donald Horne in The Death of the Lucky Country, published in 1976, lamenting not just on how

Asian Century linkage

China warns North Korea against a nuclear test. (Thanks Malcolm.) An Australia-Indonesia Youth Association survey finds that its hard for Australians to get working visas for Indonesia. To really leap into the Asian Century, Australia must become a republic, says David Morris. Nick

Has Asia power balance really shifted?

Brendan Taylor is Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University. As China rises, how far and how fast is Asia\'s power balance shifting? My colleague Hugh White seems to suggest that this question has already been answered when he argues that \'the

Aid is a catalyst for regional change

Dr Michael Carnahan is Chief Economist at AusAID. History tells us that strong economic growth is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to sustainably lift people out of poverty. Current and projected growth in Asia means the international community needs to evolve and reposition its

Australia 'Asian Century': A view from Bangkok

Bandid Nijathaworn is a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Thailand and is now chair of the Thai Bond Market Association. This year, Australia and Thailand are due to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic ties, a relationship that economically has moved from strength to strength. Since the

Beijing divide and rule strategy exposes Jakarta

Greta Nabbs-Keller is writing a PhD at Griffith Asia Institute on the impact of democratisation on Indonesia’s foreign policy. Indonesia\'s aspirational slogan, \'ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations\', posted all over Jakarta in 2011, has been undermined by recent events in

Indonesia: The Fading Star of SBY

Tom McCawley is a Jakarta-based journalist and analyst. Indonesia\'s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono must look back nostalgically on his landslide re-election in 2009. Voters rewarded his promises to fight corruption and create jobs with a 60% landslide victory in a direct election. He was

China still has plenty of room to grow

With the European economy still teetering and the US recovery fragile, the world is heavily reliant on China to put in a good growth performance. So far so good. After 9.2% GDP growth in 2011, the first quarter of 2012 recorded a respectable 8% annualised growth rate. While this was a bit below

Australia inflated aid agenda

Annmaree\'s anxieties about the aid budget are well-founded. If the fiscal squeeze is to be as hard as everyone says, there seems little chance that aid will be spared. Of course, no one is talking about spending less on aid — only about slowing the rate of growth. Aid spending

Mind the gap: How NZ and Australia think of Asia

Andrew Butcher is Director of Policy & Research at the Asia New Zealand Foundation. The latest Asia New Zealand Foundation poll of New Zealanders\' attitudes to Asia and Asian peoples reveals some interesting divergences with Australia. Mirroring questions asked by the Lowy Institute,

Asian century linkage

John Blaxland proposes an Australian version of the US Peace Corps. North Korea\'s missile test was a flop. There may be a follow-up nuclear test. There\'s lingering distrust between China and Indonesia, meaning there won\'t be much of a shift in their relationship. the Asia

David Cameron in Asia

The UK Prime Minister is on a tour of Japan and Southeast Asia, and it\'s interesting to read this visit in light of Nick Bryant\'s comments on The Interpreter that Britain is increasingly looking to Asia as a source of economic opportunities. Judging by the Number 10 website, trade is certainly

Multilateralism fading in our Asia debate

Brendan Taylor is Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University. A key premise underpinning the \'Australia in the Asian Century\' White Paper is that \'regional and multilateral cooperation is likely to be increasingly relevant in helping to navigate