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Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 11:44 | SYDNEY
Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 11:44 | SYDNEY

Bali, our Asian dream and nightmare

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26 October 2011 11:34

It hasn't been a good month for those wondering how Australia will adjust to the Asian Century.

The mere fact our foreign minister is active and busy at his job is treated, by default, as a bad thing. Meanwhile, the arrest of a 14 year-old Australian on drug charges in Indonesia set off a series of anti-Bali stories (and weird confessions by the opposition leader), culminating in a piece by a Fairfax journalist 'Bali: why bother'.

The author tells us how she reluctantly 'caved' into going on holiday to a place with cheap accommodation and amazing scenery, only to be put off by the locals wanting her to spend some of her money in their stores, or hire their bikes for transport. The horror. Peter McCawley's piece this morning, 'Lost and Found in Java', is therefore a well timed counter-example.

I also have to wonder if we're just being played here, with the media cynically putting up such stories to appeal to the insular and outrage the rest. Whether you came to praise or bury her views, the story was pure link bait.

Australia has spent at least thirty years arguing about our role in Asia. Judging by the over-the-top reaction to recent stories, the debate still has a long, long way to run.

Photo by Flickr user williamcho.

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