Friday 22 Feb 2019 | 09:22 | SYDNEY
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Australia in the World

No. 1 Neighbour: How culture binds Australia & PNG

Last weekend marked the close of the Queensland Art Gallery’s No. 1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966-2016 exhibit. This was a landmark exhibition, the first in Australia to exclusively explore contemporary Papua New Guinean art. The exhibition showcased Papua New Guinea’s vibrant art

Australia-India relations: Poised for take off

Relations between India and the United States before the redefining changes of the past two decades were possibly best summarised in the title of a book by the American diplomat Dennis Kux: Estranged Democracies. But that phrase could just as easily have applied, more recently, to India and

Digital diplomacy @DFAT

A week ago Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade launched its first digital media strategy and accompanying blog. It's about time. Digital diplomacy is expanding, the pace of change is picking up, and DFAT - which spent two years developing this strategy - is late to the party. The

How US protectionism would threaten Australia

The impact of US President-elect Donald Trump's intended withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Australia could be seen as relatively benign, if one concentrated soley on trade in goods and services. After all, we have the Australia-United States FTA, concluded in 2004. The

ANZUS: Former Defence chief takes on the doubters

Australian and US military forces have worked together for almost a century. It’s a partnership forged under fire that has evolved into an alliance we should work hard to preserve. We first fought together in the First World War on 4 July 1918. Under the command and masterful leadership of the

The Trump ascendency and the end of ANZUS bipartisanship

Michael Fullilove is right to argue that ANZUS is bigger than any one individual, even when that person happens to be the US president.  However, Trump's election has already affected the way Australian political leaders think about the alliance. Their disparate responses suggest that we

Australia must prepare for an Asia without America

Our first thoughts should be for Americans, and the damage that has been done to their institutions, their society and their national self-respect. But there is nothing to say about this American tragedy that has not been said far better by Americans themselves. So let’s leave it at that. Our

Should Australia be more like Canada?

The Economist recently promoted Canada as a beacon of tolerance and openness in a world of ‘wall-builders, door-slammers and drawbridge raisers’. It claims Canada has lessons for other countries – particularly in its openness to immigration, support for trade liberalisation and knowing when

Australia's marriage-equality debate reverberates through the Pacific

Harriet Smith is an intern in the Melanesia Program, Lowy Institute. As the LGBTQ+ community in Australia continues the struggle for marriage equality, some are asking what impact this will have for our neighbours, especially in nations which still criminalise homosexuality. With the bill to hold

Barnaby Joyce's mixed messaging on property rights

There’s been a good deal of mixed messaging coming from Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce recently. This week he made headlines by declaring to an audience (which included the Chinese ambassador) that Labor's policies for insisting on rules concerning vegetation

Gillard and Clinton: The pull of an old friendship

It got off to a rocky start, but the relationship between Hillary Clinton and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has become a warm and respectful one that is likely to grow in importance if Clinton becomes President of the United States. A Clinton victory may see Gillard take on new

Australia's FONOP debate: A necessary storm in a teacup

This is a disconcerting period for all those hoping to see more pushback against China's bid for supremacy in the South China Sea, and its pressure tactics towards that end. The US is in the throes of an epochal political convulsion masquerading as a presidential election campaign. Its ability to

The secret life of Wyatt Roy

The former Member for Longman's surprise visit to Iraq is drawing plenty of criticism. The ALP's Penny Wong was perhaps the most savage, advising him that Iraq was not a 'place for people to act out their boyhood fantasies', while the foreign minister was also willing to criticise her former

Mapping Pacific aid: Facebook, India and money laundering

Mapping China’s opaque aid program in the Pacific Islands was more complicated and time-consuming than I had anticipated. I made peace with this fact when I found myself building a makeshift 270-degree visual cocoon out of every electronic device in my apartment so that I could cross-check the

On Australian public opinion, Xi gets it wrong

With the G20 leaders' summit in full swing earlier this week, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been meeting with leaders from the UK, India, France and China. Turnbull had much to discuss with Xi Jinping in particular, as The Australian's David Crowe reported: An

Australia cannot afford to spurn its Chinese diaspora

The Australian Financial Review is running an ‘agents of influence’ series, in line with the media’s shift from a focus on Chinese investment to a broader discussion of China’s influence in Australia. One article has cast a shadow over the million-plus ethnic Chinese in

Witnessing an opaque Pacific power shift

Today the Lowy Institute’s Melanesia program launches a major update to the Institute’s flagship research mapping project on Chinese Aid in the Pacific.*  The map now contains a decade of Chinese government aid activities in the Pacific Islands region, making it a valuable resource for

Australian leadership needed to scale the refugee summit

On 19 September, a UN high-level meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants is expected to endorse an outcome document that commits states to negotiating a 'Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework' and separately a 'Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration', for

Security shouldn't trump economics on the Ausgrid sale

Security trumps economics, or so the Ausgrid saga seems to have taught us. But maybe this framing is all wrong. Security and economics might be better thought of as being directly connected. If this is so, Australia is in real danger of building a poorer, less secure future through a flawed premise

Why Australia is the canary in the regional coal mine

It has been an interesting few months in Australia-China relations. Following the Ausgrid decision, accusations of drug cheating at the Rio Olympics and the response to the arbitral tribunal decision, Australia has been on receiving end of considerable Chinese chagrin. Whether in the formal

Call for Australia-China treaty to guide foreign investment

Just when Treasurer Scott Morrison will have been hoping to put last week’s surprisingly tough move against two Chinese power industry investors behind him, a major new report has reopened the entire Chinese foreign investment debate. The biggest ever independent study of the future of the

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