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Australia in the Asian Century

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Going, going: the Abbott government appears to have ditched the centrepiece of the Gillard government’s foreign policy, the Australia in the Asian Century white paper. AAP/Paul Miller

Is this the end of the ‘Asian century’?

In case you missed the news, the “Asian century” is over. Or it is as far as the Abbott government is concerned. In its continuing revamp of the apparatus and output of government, the Coalition has officially…
Australians who study in Asia will be best placed to tackle the challenges of the Asian Century.

An Asian Century education: why students need equal access to overseas study

The Asian Century has arrived and Australians with Asian study experience will be best placed to take advantage of it. But if we are to educate and prepare our graduates for the Asian Century and all the…
Julia Gillard has achieved a significant foreign policy coup in China, although progress has stalled on a bilateral free-trade agreement. AAP

Gillard’s China visit: a silver platter for Abbott?

If you believe the opinion polls, Julia Gillard has had a very busy week in China setting the China policy direction and institutional framework for a future Coalition government. Tony Abbott must be delighted…
China’s fast-track urbanisation doesn’t have to be unsustainable. Flickr/dcmaster

China’s cities get eco-smart, what can Australia learn?

China is urbanising faster than any other country in history. It now has 120 cities with over one million people and 36 cities with over two million. By 2030 there will be one billion people living in…
Indonesia and Australia ace many similar challenges, such as intense flooding. AAP/Bagus Indahono

Going local in our relationship with Indonesia

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman does not often make it into the Indonesian press, but he did in reports on the Queensland floods. These reports shared news space with coverage of the even more devastating…
We agree Australia’s productivity has to improve: plotting the trajectory from the macro to the micro will be big future themes of debate in the coming year. AAP

The productivity conundrum: current thinking and future trends

Amid the emerging decline in Australia’s terms of trade and drop in commodity prices, there is general consensus among most commentators that improving Australia’s productivity is critical. Looking back…
This week marks the 40th anniversary of Australia’s bilateral relationship with China. AAP

Reflecting on Australia and China, 40 years young

The optics of this week’s official celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China could not be more pertinent. Culminating in tonight’s banquet hosted by Julia Gillard at the…
White, monolingual, male: the make up of many of Australia’s ASX companies fail to reflect our cultural and gender diversity. AAP

To engage with Asia, we must be multicultural in more than name

The recent Ethnic Business Awards were a celebration of entrepreneurship, pioneering and determination and above all the immense contribution that our migrant population has made to a better Australia…
The Chinese province of Xinjiang, bordering Kazakhstan, is planning fibre optic security dubbed the “Great Fence of China”; the technology was pioneered by an Australian firm, but China’s rapid technological adaption signifies another chapter in its evolution as a world power. AAP

Fencing Australia in the Asian Century

As Borat tends to his pigs on his comely estate situated on the border of Kazakhstan and China, one of them flies across in a desperate attempt to look for better opportunities in the Fabled Land of Exploding…
Australia must resolve numerous social, economic and environmental obstacles if it wants to reap the benefits of the Asian Century. Image from

Charting a sustainable future will be fraught with challenges in the Asian Century

Governments are forever immersed in the daily challenge of responding to what the former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan once knowingly described as “events.” It was he who coined the resounding…
Mining is a major regional activity - yet as we ready ourselves for the Asian century, very little research has been undertaken on other growth opportunities in these areas.

Where is regional Australia in our Asian Century future?

A stocktake of research conducted into regional development in Australia shows that we are failing to do sufficient research on opportunities for sustainable growth and prosperity in regional Australia…
President Barack Obama addressing a large crowd at University of Wisconsin – could he or his competitor Mitt Romney change higher education in Australia? EPA/Tannen Maury

Why the US election matters for Australian higher education

US presidential elections generally have little direct impact on Australia. And broadly speaking, this campaign is shaping up to be no different. Despite their ideological differences, Barack Obama and…
We’ve been told our incomes should grow in the Asian century; but first we need a “soft” landing from the heights of our resources boom and more sustainable ways of growing our economy. Dmitri Ometsinsky/

Ross Garnaut: will the Asian Century reboot our debate on growth?

The Australia in the Asian Century White Paper is the first large-scale official look in the 21st Century at economic change in Asia and how it affects Australian opportunities and challenges. It is ambitious…
Older universities are at a clear advantage in certain rankings – Monash University’s Vice-Chancellor Ed Byrne explains why. University image from

Asian century goal relies on unjust rankings for universities

The Asian century white paper – released this week – presents a clear vision for the role of Australian universities in building links with Asia. To underscore this, the government announced a new target…
Asian languages are important, but they should be one part of a greater focus on Asia in the curriculum. Asian image from

Across the curriculum: access to Asian languages isn’t everything

Despite the breadth of issues in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper released this week, so far the debate has focused largely on language learning in schools. With fewer and fewer students…
Australia is all for engaging with India. But are we willing to pay? EPA/Anindito Mukherjee

Australia has to fund the Asian century, whether we like it or not

It will take some time for the full detail of the Asian Century White Paper to be digested by the public and elaborated by the government, especially by Craig Emerson as the designated Asian century minister…
Paucity of detail on foreign policy indicates the Federal Government’s approach to the Asian Century is more about using Asia as a foil to promote domestic reforms.

Asian Century White Paper is a foreign policy fail, but not by accident

For a policy document purporting to map out future directions for Australia in the so-called “Asian Century”, the recently released White Paper pays remarkably scant regard to foreign policy. Several chapters…
Getting Hindi into schools will be a challenged, but it’s worth the effort. romana klee

Get ready to learn Hindi: education in the Asian century

The rapid rise of Asia means that Australia and the world find themselves in new strategic circumstances in this century. And that has immense implications for our young people. The Australia in the Asian…
The Asian Century White Paper offers a lot of grand rhetoric, but little in the way of serious policy ideas. AAP

Asian Century White Paper is big on rhetoric, small on ideas

The Australia in the Asian Century White Paper has vaulting ambitions equally matched by a limited set of policy ideas for institutional reform. Unlike Ross Garnaut’s 1989 report, Australia and the Northeast…

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