Articles on Asia

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The imprisonment of journalists and human rights activists under the crime of ‘lese-majeste’ laws in Asia should be a cause for concern in the new Asian century. 710928003_Flickr

Crime and business: a cautionary tale in the Asian century

What is the role of the criminal law? In parts of modern day Asia, the criminal law has had another, more troubling, purpose in addition to convicting murders and rapists: protecting those in authority…
Kim Jong-un’s threats against South Korea and the US have become more dramatic. EPA/Yonhap News Agency

North Korea’s month of bluster: is there method in its ‘madness’?

Western commentators seem generally mesmerised by North Korea’s quixotic behaviour. The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is described as “delusional”, “fruitcake”, “reckless”, and the actions of North Korea’s…
The language of cooperation might just be a cordial façade. AAP/Office of the Prime Minister

Predictable lack of progress on the South China Sea

As expected, the dispute over the South China Sea was the most contentious issue at this week’s ASEAN meeting and East Asia Summit. Multilateral dialogue was tense, and ASEAN member states disagreed on…
US President Barack Obama meets with his soon to be Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping earlier this year. EPA/Martin H. Simon

Heeding the echoes of history as global leadership shifts

CHINA IN TRANSITION: As China goes through its secretive but widely anticipated leadership transition, the rest of the world is watching. This week, The Conversation takes an in depth look at the National…
Delegates at the 18th China Communist Party Congress listen to outgoing president Hu Jintao’s address. EPA/How Hwee Young

The secret to the Chinese Communist Party’s success

CHINA IN TRANSITION: As China goes through its secretive but widely anticipated leadership transition, the rest of the world is watching. This week, The Conversation takes an in depth look at the National…
The white paper sets high standards for Australian universities in the Asian Century. AAP/Paul Miller

Asian century white paper sets tricky targets for universities

In the slip-stream of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, released by Julia Gillard yesterday, there is a one-off opportunity to evolve new programs, open up and engage in Asia at scale. Many…
The Gillard government has a long road ahead of it to enact the recommendations of the Asian Century White Paper. AAP/Paul Miller

Asian century white paper talks the talk, can Australia walk the walk?

Ken Henry’s team has provided a detailed and useful blueprint for future action in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. But the government will need to ramp up its domestic efforts to improve…
Universities play a vital role in creating a better understanding of Asia – if it is included broadly in curricula. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Teaching Asia to Australia: it’s not just about languages

Ahead of the soon-to-be-released Asian Century White Paper, Foreign Minister Bob Carr has said Australia needs to “know Asia” in order to prosper. Delivering a speech to the Asia Society on behalf of Prime…
Looking to Asian schools is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Chalkboard image www.shutterstock.com

Our Asian schooling infatuation: the problem of PISA envy

It was fun while it lasted Finland, but we’re going cold on you. We thought your schools had the secret but our new infatuation is with Asian school systems. The Prime Minister seems to agree. The government…
Researchers excavate the Tam Pa Ling cave in Laos, where skeletal evidence of “the earliest” modern humans in Asia was discovered. P. Duringer

Cave of the Monkeys find complicates our Asia story

Did our Asian story just get more complicated? It seems so. An article published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Fabrice Demeter and co-workers describes a new modern…
Harvest time: Asia’s rising incomes and demand for food are no guarantee of a mining-style payday for Australian farmers. AAP/EPA/Raminder Pal Singh

Australia’s place in the global food chain: time to wise up

In recent weeks Australia’s PM, a shadow minister, and a state premier have heralded the opportunities for Australian farmers to capitalise on a global food-shortage and, in particular, rising demand for…
Australia has to take the initiative if we want to build a relationship with Asia based on the arts. AAP

Finding a place on the Asian stage

WHAT IS AUSTRALIA FOR? Australia is no longer small, remote or isolated. It’s time to ask What Is Australia For?, and to acknowledge the wealth of resources we have beyond mining. Over the next two weeks…
Vietnam’s growing economic prosperity, and demand for cute pets, has given its gibbons a bleak future. Clare Campbell

Southeast Asia’s small apes swing close to extinction

Gibbons are among our closest living relatives. These small apes are beautiful singers and glorious swingers. But a new survey of their numbers has found an economic boom in Vietnam is eating up their…
Australia isn’t viewed well in India, and it will take more than cricket to fix the relationship. AAP/David Hunt

Culture shock: mending Australia’s fractured relationship with India

On my last visit to India in April this year, I found the nation in the grip of Indian Premier League (IPL) fever, or so the umpteen news channels had me believe. With Katy Perry in a kitsch Indian costume…
Julia Gillard and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak at last week’s nuclear summit in Seoul. AAP/EPA

Julia Gillard is getting it wrong on Asia

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s recent performance in South Korea highlights once again the dangers of not taking Asia seriously. At a speech at a university, Gillard apparently stuck directly to script…
Police contact with drug users and sex workers means they can help achieve public health goals. downtownBLUE

Police on the beat – the missing link of HIV prevention in Southeast Asia

HIV has claimed the lives of more than 30 million people since it emerged more than 30 years ago. But despite worldwide efforts to control the spread of the deadly disease, 2.6 million people contracted…
Gillard made ground with Pacific leaders at the APEC summit, but Australia has much work left to do. AAP

Is Australia truly ready for the Asian century?

Australia’s future is clearly linked to the dynamism of North Asia and Indonesia, Vietnam and other economies in the region. Yet many significant challenges confront Australia in realising the promised…

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