Asia

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Australia’s political leaders were silent on a number of key issues during the election campaign. AAP/Lukas Coch

Are Australia’s political parties past their use-by date?

The problem confronting political parties is that the people in leadership positions are intellectually and emotionally ill-equipped to grasp the complex transformation in human affairs now under way.
Obama’s message while in Vietnam and Japan may be twofold. REUTERS

Obama’s trip to Vietnam and Japan isn’t just a friendly visit

Beneath the usual pomp and circumstance of Obama's weeklong visit to Asia lies a clear message for aggressors in the region. An East Asia expert from UC Berkeley reads between the lines.
The Cu Chi tunnels may be the most popular of the ‘war tourism’ attractions in Vietnam. www.dreamtime.com

Will tourism transform the way Australians remember the Vietnam War?

Might the rise of heritage tourism and the increasing ease of international travel lead to more of Australia’s military experiences overseas being better understood?
The Coalition government has moved to rapidly alter the balance of Australia’s foreign policy spending. AAP/Rashida Yosufzai

Ideas for Australia: Sold short – Australia’s aid cuts have foreign policy consequences

A reduced aid budget equates to the forsaking of real opportunities in foreign policy terms. In the long term, this could make the savings look miniscule compared to opportunity costs.
EPA/Mast Irham

Malcolm in the Middle Kingdom

Before European imperialism fatally undermined China’s own dynastic system, it was customary for China’s neighbours to acknowledge its dominance by sending tribute missions to the imperial court. While…
Defence diplomacy will not substantially transform the overall picture of Asia’s ongoing political cleavages. AAP

The 2016 white paper must get it right on defence diplomacy

The coming defence white paper presents an opening for the Turnbull government to place its stamp on national security priorities and to align planning and policy settings with its strategic vision.

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