Each way bet
Australian businesses are simultaneously becoming more dependent on China and traditional Anglo markets just when the country’s foreign policy thrust is to diversify links to major emerging nations such as India and Indonesia.
This at a time a new survey of business attitudes to
From the days of former Australian prime minister Robert Menzies, Australia has desired strong ties with India. “We must learn to think together and to act together,” Menzies declared in 1950 during a state visit to the then newly independent nation.
Australia’s economic exposure – and
Just a few kilometres separate Papua New Guinea and Australia at their closest point.
But when it comes to migration procedures, people on both sides of the Torres Strait can sometimes feel like the countries may as well be on separate planets. Visas remain a constant obstacle to building a
The death of UK teenager Shamima Begum’s newborn son and the recent video of an Australian woman in Syria calling to be returned home with her sick infant daughter has brought the issue of ISIS minors and the role of the home government in safeguarding these citizens to the forefront.
Pity MIKTA. Not so long ago, Canberra had high hopes for this obscure grouping of countries – Mexico, Indonesia, (South) Korea, Turkey, and Australia. Former foreign minister Julie Bishop was a particular fan of this caucus of middle powers within the G20, a gathering separate from the
Sam Roggeveen wrote recently on the need for the government to be more forthcoming about its security assessments on China, specifically, allegations of influence and interference activities conducted within Australia. The trigger was Andrew Robb’s interview for the ABC, in which the ex-
A murderous terrorist attack by an Australian white supremacist on two mosques in New Zealand does not, at first sight, look like a bilateral issue for Jakarta and Canberra.
But Retno Marsudi, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, called in Gary Quinlan, the Australian ambassador in Jakarta, on Monday
Last month, Financial Times columnist Edward Luce asked, what would it take for India to get America’s attention? His question was rather aptly answered a couple of weeks later with a spot of brinkmanship in Kashmir (Pulwama terrorist attack: Modi under pressure), meaning India hit the
Middle aged spread
Southeast Asian countries are about to become the primary focus of Australia’s public diplomacy this year as the “Australia now” program stretches its budget from the usual single country approach to all ten countries of the ASEAN group.
The signing on 4 March of the Indonesia Australia–Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) has been hailed as a major bilateral trade agreement and a diplomatic breakthrough given recent tensions between Canberra and Jakarta. However, now the negotiations are concluded, there may
Former trade minister Andrew Robb made news yesterday when he criticised former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his deputy, Barnaby Joyce, for the “toxic” state of Australia’s relations with China.
It’s just the latest skirmish in a heated and occasionally quite hostile debate in
A refreshing wave of Pacific-mania is sweeping Canberra.
There’s new postings, a new Office of the Pacific, a high profile visit from the prime minister to the region, and two major announcements on Pacific infrastructure: the creation of the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for
Australia is experiencing a remarkable renewable energy transition. The pipeline for new wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity systems is 6-7 Gigawatts (GW) per year for the period 2019-21. This equates to 250 Watts per person per year compared with about 50 Watts per person per year for the
On 25 January, archaeologists announced that the body of Matthew Flinders, who had completed the first circumnavigation of Australia in 1803, had been found under London’s Euston station.
The discovery excited Australian interest more than it perhaps otherwise would. Three days earlier, Prime
Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week revealed that Australia’s major political parties were the target of a recent cyber attack. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) identified a malicious intrusion in the Parliament House computer network. It was later discovered that the Liberal, Labor
Since 2005, the annual Lowy Institute Poll has been tracking the attitudes of Australians to foreign policy issues and their place in the world. The issue of boat people, unauthorised asylum seekers, irregular maritime arrivals, refugees – the politics is so contested that it is difficult to find
The aid industry is complex. Dozens of bilateral donors, hundreds of multilateral agencies, and thousands of non-governmental organisations litter the development landscape in all corners of the globe.
In aid jargon, this is known as “fragmentation”. Conventional aid-effectiveness literature
Australia’s decision on 28 January to formally recognise Juan Guaidó as interim President of Venezuela is a reversal of previously long-standing government policy to only recognise States and not governments.
Adopted by the Hawke government following a Cabinet decision in 1988, that policy has
With Hakeem al-Araibi now landed in Australia, returned from Thailand, what seems like a totally unnecessary crisis looks to be over.
After some 11 weeks of excruciating limbo, and with numerous heroic efforts here in Australia and elsewhere to free the refugee footballer, now vindicated, it
On Tuesday evening, the House of Representatives passed a bill supporting the transfer of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia for urgent medical care. The bill, initially put forward by independent MP Kerryn Phelps in late 2018, provides expanded capacities that allow two doctors
Jackson achieves magnificently his professed goal of making a film about the human experience of the war.
The commemorations marking the centenary of the First World War were so regular that by 2018 a degree of commemoration fatigue seemed to have set in. Was there anything more than could be said
The case of Saudi teen Rahaf Al-Qunun dramatically demonstrates the difficulties many refugees face when attempting to escape the risk of harm at home and find safety elsewhere – whether they travel by leaky boat, or through international airports surrounded by business travellers and holiday-
While millions of Chinese made an annual pilgrimage home for the Spring Festival, Huang Xiangmo, the Chinese property developer at the centre of Australia’s political interference scandal, had his Australian permanent residency and visa cancelled,
The Royal Australian Air Force announced last week that it has commenced flight operations with the first two of its new F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.
When the first full squadron of F-35s is operational in 2020, the Air Force will have made a substantial capability leap, particularly in “data
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has now established an Office of the Pacific, a measure foreshadowed in 2018 as part of Australia’s Pacific “step up”. Ewen McDonald, formerly High Commissioner in Wellington and a Deputy Secretary in DFAT, has been appointed head of the Office.
At the Raisina Dialogue, India’s flagship geopolitical conference held last week in New Delhi, Australia’s high-level presence was noticeable. Foreign Minister Marise Payne led the delegation from Canberra and was accompanied by Chief of Defence Force General Angus Campbell.
Britain’s former foreign secretary Boris Johnson has called for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to be rolled into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This would be a monumental mistake for a country looking for relevance in a post-Brexit world.
Over the past two
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will visit Vanuatu and Fiji this week. He is the first Australian prime minister to visit Vanuatu since Bob Hawke in 1990 and the first to visit Fiji since John Howard in 2006 (both were for Pacific Islands Forum leaders meetings). Long overdue, the visits
The findings of two related government reviews – on international broadcasting, and soft power – should offer an incoming Australian government the potential of a substantial policy reset following the general election in May. Specifically, they may help clarify the purpose and place of state-
British think-tank, the Henry Jackson Society, recently released its Audit of Geopolitical Capability, which it describes as providing the “fullest picture of who’s up and who’s down on the international stage”.
According to the 2019 audit, Australia was up, ranked eighth in terms of
With an election approaching, a heady mix of personality conflict and pressure from polls – those suggesting an impending change of government – once again turned combustible for a sitting prime minister in Australia. Suddenly, in August, out went Malcolm Turnbull, and in came Scott Morrison,
In the aftermath of the Bourke Street attack in Melbourne last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced two updates to Australia’s citizenship laws: increasing power to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals, and a period of exclusion from re-entry of foreign fighters returning to
Australia has decided it is going to do a lot more infrastructure financing in the Pacific.
This is a welcome development. The Pacific faces some of the most difficult development conditions in the world and has huge financing needs, especially due to the effects of climate change. It is also
The first in a series where Lowy Institute experts look back on what surprised them in 2018.
If you had told me this time last year that in 2018 I would be one of the most frequently quoted Lowy Institute staff members in the media, I would have laughed you out of the room. Conventional thinking
Some, perhaps surprising, support from Bahrain to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision for Australia to formally recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel while leaving Australia’s embassy at its existing location in Tel Aviv. According to a tweet translated by Al Jazeera, Bahrain’
If news reports are believed, Australia will on Saturday formally recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital while leaving its embassy to remain in Tel Aviv in an announcement to be made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
If other news reports are believed, such a shift will be against the
This article is based on episode 10 of the Good Will Hunters podcast, featuring an interview with Clare Press, sustainability editor-at-large at Vogue Australia.
It’s known as “fast fashion”, clothes cheap to buy, yet costly to make, if the true labour and environmental
Ties between India and Australia have always been a little constrained – and unsurprisingly so, as traditionally there has been little to connect the two countries. For its part, Australia has for decades sought to have a better relationship with India, one that extends beyond shared democracy,
During the November APEC Summit, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the US will work with Australia and Papua New Guinea to develop the Lombrum naval base on Manus Island.
Analysts have debated whether the plan is part of a pushback against Chinese encroachment in the Pacific and how
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent visit to Darwin was rightly billed as historic and “deeply symbolic”. It also delivered some substance, with the announcement of important deals on the financing of regional infrastructure and on deepening cooperation on maritime security. It did not
The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme goes live on 10 December, when people or companies in Australia who are acting on behalf of foreign principals in the political sphere will have to register and detail their activities on a public website.
If it works as it is supposed to, the
A few weeks ago, when I heard about the proposal to encourage people to thank veterans for their service, I was moved to put my “veteran” hat on (something I rarely do) and write a strong riposte: "Would You Like thanks With That?". Then the farcical announcement by Virgin Australia hit the
Book review: Blunder: Britain’s War in Iraq, by Patrick Porter (Oxford University Press, November 2018).
Clausewitz famously pointed out that war is a continuation of politics or policy by other means. Hannah Arendt wrote that “policy is the realm of unintended consequences”.
When Tony Abbott became prime minister, he immediately went about implementing his policy of “turning back the boats”. This was in the face of warnings that the practice would not only cause a major diplomatic rift between Australia and Indonesia but the very real possibility of a
It is both apt and overdue that veteran ABC correspondent Sean Dorney was last night awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Journalism at the 2018 Walkley ceremonies. Judged by the trustees of the Walkley Foundation, this award not only recognises Dorney’s extraordinary body of work built over
China’s Ministry of Commerce announced on Monday that it would immediately start a year-long anti-dumping probe into imported barley from Australia. China is Australia’s largest export market for barley. In 2017, two-thirds of the Australian crop – 6.48 million tonnes, worth US $1.5 billion
When Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the establishment of the multibillion-dollar infrastructure development bank for the Pacific, the overriding sentiment was that this pivot to the South Pacific was designed to curb the rising Chinese presence in the region.
But is this renewed
In October 2017, Australia’s then foreign minister Julie Bishop officially announced Australia’s new $300 million regional health security initiative. This announcement and the size of the initiative took many by surprise, and has been largely welcomed by most commentators and several of our
With a series of state elections due and the federal election looming, there are important lessons that Australia needs to learn from the tone of US politics. In particular, there is a responsibility for Australia’s political leaders to act in ways that ensure, and do not undermine, the integrity
Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is scheduled to visit Australia this week on the heels of attending the ASEAN Summit. While there have been regular prime ministerial exchanges between Tokyo and Canberra throughout Abe’s long leadership tenure, there will be more at stake than usual on this