Last Sunday's launch of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper was (we think) the biggest event the Lowy Institute has hosted in its almost ten-year history. 31 Bligh St was positively bursting at the seams as we hosted the Prime Minister, her senior cabinet ministers (Wayne Swan, Bob Carr, Craig Emerson, Peter Garrett), former PM Bob Hawke, members of the diplomatic community, our Chairman Frank Lowy AC, board and corporate members, and a 70-strong media pack.
- With TV anchors reporting live from Bligh St ahead of the event, the room was buzzing with camera crews and snappers jostling for position hours before the PM arrived. ABC 24 and Sky covered the event, with our own Milton Osborne in the ABC's Ultimo studio providing analysis as the White Paper was launched. Post launch, the PM recorded interviews from our Boardroom with SBS's Lee Lin Chin and ABC's Mark Simkin, while Lowy scholars Rory Medcalf and Linda Jakobson were busy giving both national and international press their initial views.
- The launch was in the prime news slot for Sunday evening television radio broadcasts and front-page news in Monday's AFR, SMH, Australian and The Age (in a blog post, Malcolm Cook points to the difference in coverage between broadsheets and tabloids). Rory Medcalf's first-look analysis was a feature op-ed in The Australian's 6-page coverage of the White Paper and Linda Jakobson had an op-ed in today's WSJ.
- Internationally, the launch made waves, with reporting from the Times of India to CNN, China Daily, Philippine Star and France24.
- We live tweeted from the event with the hashtag #AsianCentury. This was quickly picked up by the twitter community, even trending for a short while. Hashtracking.com tells us that #AsianCentury generated 1030 tweets, reaching an audience of 770,631 in the first 24 hours following the launch. There are reports of many references to the White Paper on China's leading social media service Weibo.
- If you would like to catch up on the event, our website has full event video (see above), a transcript of the PM's speech, introductory remarks by Michael Fullilove as well as a transcript from the Q&A session. Our photographer, Peter Morris, has a nice photo album of the day.
- After the launch, Michael Fullilove caught up with the PM for a quick video discussion on how the Asian Century will affect Australia's foreign-policy choices. The PM reflects on how her recent trips to Asia (2.00 min) has informed her thinking, the White Paper recommendation to expand Australia's diplomatic network (3.40 min) and how Australia's membership in the G20 and UN Security Council supports our efforts in Asia (4.52 min).