FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Filter by

Date

Syndication

Tag cloud

Filter by Asia

Australia’s aid to North Korea: a short history and future issues

The prospect of a new global deal to halt and reverse the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs raises the question of what role Australia might play in supporting such an agreement. While remaining ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the likelihood of an effective and durable agreement, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has stated in the wake of the recent ‘Singapore Summit’ that the Australian Government is assessing whether it could offer expertise to assist with the verification of any future North Korean actions to dismantle its nuclear capability. Read more...

A different kind of ‘pivot’: the Trump administration’s proposed aid cuts and Australia’s region

A 24 April article in Foreign Policy magazine reports on a leaked United States Government internal budget document detailing proposed cuts to the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID) programs for fiscal year (FY) 2018. If these cuts are enacted, some of Australia’s closest and poorest neighbours would be among the most severely affected.  Read more...

Australian foreign policy in 2017: a year of delivery?

This year is shaping up as a big year for Australian foreign policy. This FlagPost highlights some of the key milestones expected over the coming months Read more...

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

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...

2016—a big year for Laos

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...

China to move production capacity offshore

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...

The Thai coup amid broader concerns

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...

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

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%). Criticism of Malaysia’s electoral system and allegations of fraud involving foreign voters featured heavily in the campaign with PR’s leader, Anwar Ibrahim, leading a series of rallies protesting... Read more...

The National Food Plan: food policy or something else?

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 White Paper?In 2010 the Government said the National Food Plan would better integrate food policy by looking at the food supply chain from paddock to plate.The Paper makes 16 recommendations for food... Read more...

A snapshot of Southeast Asia in 2013

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-rigging by the country’s governing coalition, the Barisan Nasional. Cambodia’s elections, scheduled for July, take place against the backdrop of rapid economic development, continued pursuit of closer... Read more...

Top