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  • A smaller ‘Indo-Pacific’: more detail on Australia’s 2015–16 aid cuts

    Posted 24/05/2016 by Cameron Hill
    In the wake of further reductions to Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) programs in the 2016–17 Budget, recent government responses to Questions on Notice (QoN) from Senate Additional Estimates hearings reveal more about where previous cuts have been applied. Read more...

    TAGS: ODA, Australian foreign policy, Asia

  • 2016—a big year for Laos

    Posted 9/03/2016 by Cameron Hill

    This year will be an important year for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR).  Laos is among Asia’s smallest and poorest nations, but is also one of the world’s fastest growing economies.  In January, the communist Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), from which the country’s secretive ruling elite is drawn, completed its tenth party congress and chose Mr Bounnhang Vorachit, 78, as its new leader.  

    Read more...

    TAGS: Foreign affairs, Southeast Asia, ASEAN, Australian foreign policy

  • China to move production capacity offshore

    Posted 7/08/2015 by Geoff Wade

    With the ructions in the South China Sea having monopolised the China headlines of late, a key PRC policy initiative possibly more significant for the expansion of China’s influence regionally and globally has passed under the radar. 

    In April, at the Lanting forum held in Hebei, PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave a speech entitled ‘Promote industrial cooperation for common development’. He noted that the forum was intended as ‘a new platform for provinces and cities such as Hebei to expand exchanges and industrial cooperation with other countries’.

    Read more...

    TAGS: China; Economic policy; Southeast Asia; Africa

  • 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.

    Read more...

    TAGS: Asia; Japan; international relations

  • The Thai coup amid broader concerns

    Posted 27/05/2014 by Geoff Wade

    The recent assumption of political control in Thailand by the military has induced concerns around the world, for diverse but not always openly-expressed reasons.

    Read more...

    TAGS: Foreign policy, Southeast Asia

    Comments (1)
  • Aung San Suu Kyi and Australia’s new relationship with Myanmar

    Posted 12/11/2013 by Cameron Hill
    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

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

    Posted 8/08/2013 by Cameron Hill
    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

  • The National Food Plan: food policy or something else?

    Posted 17/07/2013 by Rob Dossor
    The Australian Government released the National Food Plan White Paper (the Paper) on 25 May 2013. At the time the then Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said ‘For the first time, Australia’s food businesses and consumers have a road map for the future…’ The Paper, however, is not about food for Australians; it has minimal focus on what Australians eat, or food processing in Australia. It is more an export plan, particularly for Australian producers.What’s in the National Food Plan... Read more...

    TAGS: Australia in the Asian Century, Department of Agriculture, export, Fisheries and Forestry, food, food labelling, Productivity Commission, regulation, vocational education and training

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

    Posted 9/07/2013 by Cameron Hill
    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

    Comments (2)
  • A snapshot of Southeast Asia in 2013

    Posted 13/02/2013 by Cameron Hill
    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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