Fifty-eight years after Samoa became an independent state, it has been promised a new court giving Samoan customs a rightful place in law. It is worth considering why has this has been declared necessary
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has told the nation that Samoan customs will be
This is not a propitious time to proclaim to the world that Australians are not interested in India, Japan, Korea and all the nations of mainland Southeast Asia. That, however, is what the National Library of Australia has done by announcing it will stop its systematic collecting of materials about
On Friday, news broke that the Chinese Embassy had issued a statement in Mandarin on its website urging all Chinese students in Australia to protect their safety. This was reported to have alarmed the university sector, which interpreted the statement as a veiled threat in retaliation for
There is more to be said about Martin Parkinson's speech on US economic diplomacy, and in particular how Australian attention has been diverted from the challenge of developing our relationship with Asia through region-based arrangements.
Parkinson says that 'what is striking about post-war Asia
This month saw a super summit of two organisations that are significant for both Russia and China. The 7th BRICS summit and 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, both held in Ufa, Russia, included the typical member-state declarations confirming cooperation on major issues such as
Michael Thawley's comments on China's present global leadership credentials and ambitions are correct and phrased in the refreshingly direct manner Australians usually take as a badge of national pride and uniqueness.
The fact that his comments caused such a stir in Australia (and seemingly in
This year's Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of State Council Meeting, being held in Russia on 10 July, promises to be the most productive in years. Pakistan and India will likely be confirmed as full members (although ascension may not occur until 2016), a move Moscow has long
In a little-noticed interview, the chief of Panama's Canal Authority concedes that 'the world and the canal were unlikely to ever again see the booming container trade that characterised the 1990s and early 2000s' due to shifting manufacturing patterns and American thrift.
Obviously, he has
The establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) reached another milestone on Monday when 50 of the 57 founding members signed the AIIB's Articles of Agreement. Seven countries are still sorting out domestic requirements before signing.
China's Finance Minister Jiwei Lou and
With the signing of the AIIB's Articles of Agreement in Beijing yesterday, how is the Bank shaping up? Here are some key things that struck me reading the Agreement:
The Bank's members are split into two groups: regional and non-regional. Regional members include those countries
The recent rush by Western countries to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) before the 30 March deadline set by China was widely, and rightly, seen as a policy failure for the US. Earlier, the US had openly opposed the bank.
The US has also resisted reform of the Bretton Woods
There was a time when there were very few women in Burma’s national police force, and they were practically invisible. Under an ambitious plan to enlarge, modernise and reform the Myanmar Police Force (MPF), however, that situation is rapidly changing. Not only are there now many more female
In 2011, Burma's hybrid civilian-military government launched an ambitious reform program that, among other things, envisaged the transfer of responsibility for Burma's internal security from the armed forces to the national police.
Given Naypyidaw's firm and public commitment to this policy, it
After a decade of swimming against the tide, the Australian Government is slowly engaging in the world of digital diplomacy.
The term 'DFAT the Dinosaur' no longer applies, a label slapped onto our foreign affairs department in 2010 after a series of public refusals to incorporate the internet
You might wonder whether the result of the recent second round of French departmental elections – with Nicolas Sarkozy taking credit for the UMP's win of 67 departments, trouncing Francois Hollande's Socialists, who got 34 – has anything to do with Australian
What is best practice for the governance of the Chinese-initiated Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB)? Australia says this remains a major concern, even though it has finally agreed to become a prospective founding member of the bank.
2014 Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of
More details emerged over the weekend about two Chinese big-ticket initiatives, 'One Belt, One Road' and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia, President Xi Jinping outlined his vision for the region in a keynote address titled 'Towards a Community of
Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak, founder of the Global Movement of Moderates, has been widely praised by international leaders (including President Obama and Prime Minister Abbott) for his commitment to democracy and moderate Islam.
Yet between 2013 and 2014, according to
Australia's likely decision to become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) marks the loosening of America's 70 year command over global governance.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the African Growth and Opportunity Act
Should Australia join the Chinese-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)? As often happens in international affairs, the answer is not found in the technical pros and cons of the proposal, but in the politics.
America seems to have strongly encouraged its close Asian friends (Japan
On 3 March, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said, 'We must use the celebration of International Women's Day to highlight the plight of women still fighting for freedom and equality, for when that is achieved it will be for the betterment of us all.'
That fight is ongoing in the Asia-
One of the most important aspects of the recent dramatic shift in US-India relations has been the convergence in the two states' narratives about Asia. It's easy to forget that this change is palpable not just over a four-decade period, but even in the past six years alone.
In 2009, early in his
With the ninth East Asia Summit and the the 25th ASEAN Summit being held back-to-back in Myanmar's capital, Naypyidaw, this week has been widely seen as a 'coming out' for a country that has been slowly reforming, economically and politically, after years of international isolation that ended in
Asia's summit season kicks off this week with the 20th APEC 'economic leaders' meeting in Beijing. The region's political jamborees have become very cluttered of late and leaders from all of Asia's key powers may become a little tired with one another's company. After APEC they will jet to Naypyidaw
'Washington, you're on your own' is the gist of a recent piece by Stephen Walt, who assesses that Europe would have no dog in an Asian fight and will therefore distance itself from the American's long list of troubles involving China.
This was underscored by Angela Merkel's recent visit to China,
In a new Policy Brief, Lowy Institute Executive Director Allan Gyngell argues that the Asia Pacific region has too many regional organisations, yet they are still unable to do all the things required of them. This matters at a time when the rising power of China and India presents new challenges