Articles on Asia Pacific

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Australia has now been caught up in the web of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks about spying. How might it affect relations with countries in our region? EPA/Ole Spata

Spies like us: Australia, America and the Asia-Pacific

Who would have thought it? Governments, it seems, have been spying on each other. As revelations go, this may be slightly less surprising than the news that the British tabloids are entirely without scruples…
ANZ chief Mike Smith was recruited to help ANZ succeed in Asia. Julian Smith/AAP

Australian banks in Asia a high stakes gamble

ANZ Bank has delivered another record profit, promising shareholders a bigger dividend than expected on the back of cash earnings of A$6.49 billion. But despite the bank’s continued Australian and international…
Tony Abbott described Shinzo Abe’s Japan as Australia’s ‘closest friend in Asia’. But how might Abbott’s bold declaration affect our relationship in the region? AAP/Karlis Salna

Politics of the ‘closest friend’: Abbott, Japan and the Asia-Pacific

At the joint Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-East Asia summit just held in Brunei, prime minister Tony Abbott hailed Japan as Australia’s “closest friend in Asia”. Abbott invited Japanese…
Kevin Rudd’s agreement with PNG on asylum seekers binds Australia to Peter O'Neill’s government, rather than being a true regional solution. AAP/Dan Peled

Rudd’s PNG deal is a co-dependency, not a ‘regional solution’

The precise details of the refugee resettlement deal struck between Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd and his Papua New Guinean counterpart Peter O'Neill are yet to be revealed. But what we do know…
The Pacific Islands may be well-known as an idyllic tourist destination, but gendered violence remains a chronic issue for Island women. AAP/Diana Plater

Pacific Islands: beset by gender violence, but why?

Allegations of sorcery-related abuse in Papua New Guinea have had increased prominence in recent days. They involve the alleged torture of six women and one man with hot irons as part of an Easter “sacrifice…
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…
Commodore Frank Bainimarama could learn a lot from China about quashing human rights. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Fiji looks north to China as human rights head south at home

Yesterday’s rapprochement between Fiji, Australia and New Zealand, with the re-establishment of diplomatic ties at High Commissioner level, needs to be seen in the context of other recent events in Fiji’s…
As many as one in four girls in the Pacific aged between 15 and 19 years are already mothers. Graham Crumb

Life saver: why Pacific women deserve contraceptive choice

World leaders, international donors, government officials from developing countries and civil society organisations gathered at the London Summit on Family Planning overnight to support the right of women…
At the Senat Coutumier in Noumea both the tricolour and the Kanak flags are still floating. Photo: Marie M'Balla-Ndi

Anarchy in Kanaky? What the French elections mean for New Caledonia … and Australia

There’s no doubt that French President Nicolas Sarkozy needs the votes of the far right in the second round run off of the French elections this weekend. In the first round, right wing Front National candidate…
Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest in November last year was a very significant step towards reform in Burma. EPA/Mizzima News

The world can do much more to help Burma change

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is cautious, but says we are seeing the first signs of change in Burma, but the government there still needs to do more for its people. He is correct in saying “It is in our…
The less Australia reaches outwards, the less it will reap the rewards. Sean MacEntee

Shrinking piece of the pie chart – Australian science and the world

Have you used your mobile phone, taken medicine or banked online today? As consumers, we benefit directly from the increasing pace of innovation. But ten years into the Asian century, the source of innovation…
A warm welcome for the President from Julia Gillard and the Governor General, but Australia should take care not to give too much away to the Americans. AAP/Stuart McEvoy.

Special relationship? Why Gillard needs to talk tough with Obama about US military base

It’s third time lucky for President Obama. He’s cancelled his trip to Australia twice before, but now he has finally made it to Canberra. Julia Gillard has struck up a friendship with the US President…
China’s government has made a massive investment in research, and student funding. Australia can learn a lot. AFP/Information Services Department

Keeping up with the Joneses: Why Australia is falling behind the neighbours on higher education

In recent weeks two commentary strands have intertwined and are extremely important to Australia’s future, and with special resonance for the higher education sector. Beginning with the announcement of…
Australia would do better to shed light on Indian affairs. Media coverage of the country is dominated by corruption scandals, terrorism or cultural festivals like Diwali. EPA/Sanjeev Gupta

Connection with India vital to Australia’s future

CHOGM As Julia Gillard chairs the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Perth, she would do well to pay special attention to her Indian colleague at the table, Vice-President Hamid Ansari. Brian Stoddart…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao. AAP

Learning to live in the Asian century

AUSTRALIA IN ASIA: In the fifth part of our series, Kathe Kirby of the University of Melbourne examines whether our education system is preparing children for the future. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has…
The Australian Ambassador is doing everything he can for the Australian boy detained in Bali, but Indonesian children aren’t so lucky. AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka

Hypocrisy over Bali teenager as Indonesian children remain in jail

This week the nation has been in an uproar over the arrest of a 14 year old Australian boy in Indonesia, accused of buying drugs. TV news reports discussed the terrible conditions of the prison, where…

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