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Blog Profile / The Interpreter

Filed Under:News / International Affairs
Posts on Regator:4675
Posts / Week:27.6
Archived Since:August 31, 2011

Blog Post Archive

East Timor, Australia and the 'Timor Gap'

Tom Allard recently reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that Australia and East Timor are ready to restart talks on the maritime boundary between the two countries, with all its complications of petroleum revenues and history. TheShow More Summary

Solomon Islands needs a parliament that will deliver results

The conduct of the general elections in Solomon Islands on 19 November appears to have been largely successful. An interim report from the Commonwealth Observer Team led by former Prime Minister of PNG Mekere Morauta has praised theShow More Summary

Genetically modified food: The sum of all China's fears

Among the worries that keep Chinese leaders awake at night surely is food security. Li Keqiang's first priority upon taking the premiership in 2013 was agricultural modernisation. Civil rebellions and wars throughout China's history were fueled by the Malthusian need to keep people fed. Show More Summary

Hagel was never a good fit for Obama White House

[youtube:X7Sp6w4KRUc] US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unexpectedly resigned this morning (AEST), the apparent victim of heavily criticised Obama Administration foreign-policy failures and brooding discontent within the White House. Hagel,...Show More Summary

Iran nuclear negotiations: A negative non-failure

This morning it was announced that the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 have been extended for another seven months; or to be specific, another four months to reach a political agreement and another three months beyond that to finalise technical details. That the talks did not end simply in a comprehensive failure was no great surprise. Show More Summary

Southeast Asia links: Jakarta's new governor, Vietnam-China, Hunger Games and more

In what the Bangkok Post dubbed 'the three-finger fallout', Thailand detained activists for displaying the Hunger Games-inspired anti-government three-finger salute. Army officials noted that the activists were held for 'attitude adjustment'...Show More Summary

China is trying to intimidate America

Sam Roggeveen raises an important question when, apropos my debate with Malcolm Cook about China's use of diplomatic carrots and sticks towards Australia, he asks why China bothers to use sticks at all when it has so many carrots. Like...Show More Summary

ABC and SBS cuts: Australia's loss in a global century

The $254 million in cuts to the ABC budget, outlined today by ABC Chief Executive Mark Scott after Malcolm Turnbull's statement on Wednesday, have been coming for a long time – at least since the Lewis review which proposed efficiencies...Show More Summary

Fiji grabs the limelight as leaders of China and India visit

Jenny Hayward-Jones is Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program and Philippa Brant is a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute. Pacific Island leaders have had the rare opportunity to meet the international leader of theShow More Summary

Why does China bother with coercion?

Hugh White's willingness to admit his mistakes and revisit his assumptions is admirable. His error in predicting that China would punish Australia by withholding final agreement on the FTA out of displeasure with the Abbott Government's pro-US and pro-Japan tilt is understandable. Show More Summary

Aid & development links: Ebola, China in Africa, Rights of the Child and more

A proposal to end the exaggeration of what counts as foreign aid. How do countries and other donors compare in their Ebola assistance? The Ebola Response Tracker by ONE is a great interactive. With the Lima Climate COP just around the...Show More Summary

Weekend catch-up: Merkel, G20, China-Australia FTA, Obama and climate, Iranian nukes and more

Bringing together the best longer Interpreter articles you were too busy to read this week. This week the Lowy Institute hosted both the Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. Both theseShow More Summary

The China-Australia FTA: Option 4

Thanks to Hugh White for responding to my post on the China-Australia free trade agreement (FTA). Hugh lays out three options for interpreting China's decision to go ahead with the FTA despite the Abbott Government's pro-Japan and pro-US stances. Show More Summary

Shinzo Abe risks ire of disaffected voters

Why would a prime minister with a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament go to the polls two years early? While Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is experiencing a slump in the polls at present, it is two years away from having to front the electorate if the normal electoral cycle is followed. Show More Summary

Why the Iran nuclear talks are mostly not about nuclear weapons (part 1)

Next Monday, 24 November, we will know whether months of talks over Iran's nuclear program will end in a comprehensive deal, a comprehensive failure or an agreement to keep negotiating. Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Stand. BaronessShow More Summary

A test for the alliance as Bishop replies to Obama's Brisbane intervention

It's been a long time since an Australian foreign minister publicly pushed back against a US president. Julie Bishop did just that in her interview from New York last night on the ABC. The last occasion when there was a serious public rupture in the alliance came with Bill Clinton's refusal to provide American ground troops in East Timor in 1999. Show More Summary

India links: Modi in Australia, emerging markets, slavery, Myanmar, Mickey in Mumbai and more

The big news this week was Modi's visit to Australia, the first of any Indian prime minister in 28 years. The Age has an editorial on the new maturity in Australia-India ties, Pradeep Taneja looks at what the visit means for the broader...Show More Summary

Myanmar summitry brings faltering US promises, China cash

Last week's summitry in Myanmar was full of media soundbites and photo ops but the policy scorecard was won by Beijing. During a period of US weakness (with Obama suffering at the midterms and many in the region doubting his Administration's...Show More Summary

Thoughts on Merkel's global profile

[youtube:HZYR5NVB8XA] As you can see above, the video of the 2014 Lowy Lecture, delivered on Monday by Angela Merkel, is now available, and I encourage you to take a look, particularly since her tough remarks on Russia are making news...Show More Summary

Pacific Island links: Elections in Solomons and Tonga, Modi and Xi in Fiji, PNG budget and more

By Anna Kirk, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Melanesia program. On 19 November Solomon Islands held its first elections since the wind-down of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands in July 2013. Solomon Islanders had to cast their votes in their home electorates, which for many meant a long and hazardous journey. Show More Summary

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