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  • Japan resurgent

    Posted 7/07/2014 by Geoff Wade
    Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
    Chatham House / Wikimedia Commons

    This week’s visit to Australia by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe marks a further step in the resurgence of Japan as a global power. It is also a key event for both Australia and Japan in affirming new regional roles and relations.

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    TAGS: Asia; Japan; international relations

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  • Aung San Suu Kyi and Australia’s new relationship with Myanmar

    Posted 12/11/2013 by Cameron Hill
    Image sourceWikimedia commons
    The Australian Government has confirmed that Aung San Suu Kyi will visit Australia from 27 November to 2 December. This will be Suu Kyi’s first visit to Australia and follows her visits to the US, the UK, Europe, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand over the last eighteen months.Traditionally, Western images of Suu Kyi have portrayed her as a lone heroine fighting tyrannical army generals. As Myanmar experts like Andrew Selth have argued, with her release from house arrest in late 2010 and the far-rea... Read more...

    TAGS: Asia, Australian foreign policy

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  • Two cheers for democracy in Southeast Asia?: recent elections in Malaysia, the Philippines and Cambodia

    Posted 8/08/2013 by Cameron Hill
    Image source: Election Commission of Malaysia
    As Australia approaches its own poll, 2013 has seen three national elections across Southeast Asia. This Flagpost outlines the results and the controversies, and possible implications for Australia’s regional engagement.MalaysiaMalaysia’s 5 May poll saw the return of the ruling National Front (Barisan Nasional—BN) coalition which won a plurality of seats (133 out of 222) over the opposition People’s Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat—PR), despite recording the lowest-ever share of the popular vote (46.5%... Read more...

    TAGS: Asia, Australia in the Asian Century

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  • Segregated, stateless and at sea: Myanmar, the Rohingyas and Australia

    Posted 9/07/2013 by Cameron Hill
    Image source: US State Department
    Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, will travel to Myanmar this week where he has stated he will raise the recent sectarian violence in Rakhine state, including the plight of the Muslim Rohingya minority, with the President and the Foreign Minister. He has previously flagged that he may seek to personally visit Rakhine to assess the situation as part of this trip. Following two major outbreaks of violence in June and October 2012 which killed 192 people, the situation in... Read more...

    TAGS: Asia, Australian foreign policy

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  • A snapshot of Southeast Asia in 2013

    Posted 13/02/2013 by Cameron Hill
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    This year promises to be another big year in Southeast Asia, that part of Australia’s region where our economic and security interests are most actively engaged.Both Malaysia and Cambodia will conduct national elections in 2013. In the case of Malaysia, where the election must be called by April, the upcoming poll has been characterised as the most competitive in the country’s history. This is despite ongoing concerns on the part of opposition parties and democracy activists about possible vote-... Read more...

    TAGS: Asia, Australia in the Asian Century, Australian foreign policy

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  • Mongolia at a crossroads: opportunities for enhanced engagement?

    Posted 21/11/2012 by Nina Markovic
    Image source: Smartraveller
    This year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Mongolia. On 13 November 2012, the Australian National University hosted (in collaboration with partner institutions) the inaugural Mongolia Update conference. It followed the official visit to Australia by Lieutenant General Tserendejidiin Byambajav, Chief of the General Staff of Mongolian Armed Forces on 8–10 November 2012 as part of the 15th Annual Chiefs of Defence Conference in Sydney.Background Mongolia is c... Read more...

    TAGS: Asia, Australian foreign policy

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  • Myanmar update

    Posted 9/10/2012 by Cameron Hill
     Image source: Wikimedia commonsEvents in Myanmar continue to move fast. This brief update highlights some of the key developments over the last few months. It follows the recent visit to Australia by the Speaker of Myanmar’s lower house and the historic visits to the United States by President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi.Political developmentsthe prospect of a ‘second wave’ of reforms was bolstered by the 27 August re-shuffle of Myanmar’s Cabinet, which included the promotion of several... Read more...

    TAGS: Asia, Australian foreign policy

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  • The South China Sea disputes: some practical thinking from Australia

    Posted 25/09/2012 by Cameron Hill
      
     Growing hostility between China and the Philippines, the failure of ASEAN Foreign Ministers to agree on a joint statement at their July meeting in Phnom Penh, and anti-China protests on the streets of Hanoi have re-focused international attention on long-standing maritime and territorial disputes in the South China Sea over the last several months. While issues like North Korea’s nuclear program and the China–Taiwan dispute have tended to dominate discussions of regional security over t... Read more...

    TAGS: Asia, Australian foreign policy

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  • SBY’s visit – the bigger picture

    Posted 5/07/2012 by Cameron Hill
    At the second Indonesia-Australia Leaders’ Meeting in Darwin on 3 July, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono re-affirmed the two countries’ ‘comprehensive strategic partnership, based on a mutual commitment to each other’s progress, prosperity and security’. The Joint Statement agreed by the two leaders highlights cooperation across a range of issues, including regional institutional architecture, trade, defence and maritime cooperation, policing, development assis... Read more...

    TAGS: Asia, Australian foreign policy

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  • Burma's economy—the long road ahead

    Posted 13/06/2012 by Cameron Hill
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    Following the Parliamentary by-elections in April, much of the commentary has now shifted focus from domestic political reforms and international responses to Burma’s economy and the challenge of achieving sustainable and inclusive growth. A brief discussion of these issues is important in the wake of the Australian Government’s decision to ‘normalise’ the bilateral economic relationship and last week’s visit to Burma by the Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr. During this visit, Senator Carr ann... Read more...

    TAGS: Asia, Australian foreign policy

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