Thursday 12 Dec 2019 | 13:38 | SYDNEY
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Indonesia image poses bigger threats to Australia's image

Rory Medcalf argues that the new Australian government must act maturely in developing its response to the spying row. The way Australia proceeds has implications for its relationships with Indonesia and other partners in the Asia region. 

Bishop stands by criticism of Beijing

Julie Bishop maintains her criticism of China's ADIZ. Rory Medcalf argues that there are justified concerns over China's lack of consultation with regional partners. 

PNG gets moving on scourge of corruption

The decision of PNG's Supreme Court to allow an 812-page commission of inquiry into false compensation scames could lead to a change in government's approach to corruption. 

Suu Kyi to Australia: smart money's on us

Suu Kyi used her address at the Lowy Institute to call on companies investing in Myanmar to take a long term view and hedge their bets in favour of her Democracy party. 

Reckless flying dragon

Rory Medcalf comments on the way China's ADIZ has increased tensions in the Asian region due to a lack of consultation. 

Rory Medcalf on the meaning of China's Air Defense Zone

In the New York Times Sinosphere blog, Rory Medcalf argues that in creating an ADIZ around the Senkakus/Diaoyu China miscalculated and that the United States should use the moment to persuade China and others to establish mechanisms in the region to minimize the risk of an incident that could trigger a conflict.

Time we behaved like G20 president

As Australia has assumed the presidency of the G20, Tony Abbott must take responsibility for setting Australia's agenda ahead of Brisbane summit next November. 

Is Australia ready for its G20 Presidency?

Media release
On 1 December 2013, Australia will commence its twelve-month presidency of the G20, a role that will culminate in the hosting of the Brisbane G20 Summit, 15-16 November 2014. This will

Spying, Sorry and Free Speech

Kurt Campbell was a panellist for ABC1 Q&A, answering questions about the politics and legalities of spying on Indonesia, intelligence leaks and the Australian asylum seeker policy.

Extended Interview: Kurt Campbell

With Indonesia downgrading bilateral relations with Australia, will relations between the two countries ever be the same again? Until earlier this year, Kurt Campbell was U.S. President Obama's Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs - and a key figure in developing Washington's "pivot" to Asia.

Australia's first suicide bomber?

Dr Rodger Shanahan talks to The Drum host Julia Baird about the credibility of video of the man believed to be Australia's first suicide bomber.(34:36)

No action for Black Hawks in war zone

Lowy Institute Military Fellow James Brown highlights the fact that Australia has never undertaken a public review of its Afghanistan operations, in this article by Paul Cleary for The Australian.

Traditional Cook Island leaders wanted water consultation sooner

Fellowing a research visit to the Cook Islands, Dr Philippa Brant comments on the Chinese aid programme. Traditional leaders in the Cook Islands say there has been poor consultation with landowners on a multi-million dollar water infrastructure project in Rarotonga.The NZ$60 million initiative, known as Te Mato Vai, is a partnership between the Cook Islands, China and New Zealand.Beverley Tse has more:The water supply on Rarotonga is currently untreated. Under Te Mato Vai, a new water system will be installed, including UV treatment, improved storage capacity and new ring mains which will deliver potable, clean drinking water to all residential and commercial properties connected to the existing network. The Cook Islands Infrastructure Minister Teariki Heather says the project is progressing well.
“TEARIKI HEATHER: I’ve just been to China with the inspection of quality assurance for us for the Cook Islands and all partners involved to make sure that what we get from China is sort of like the real thing. So I’m quite happy that the recent visit with engineers, of course, from NZ, the assurance and also the standard, it’s all A-ok.”
He says consultations are being held on Rarotonga to iron out any issues.
“TEARIKI HEATHER: We’re having sort of consultations with the people right around Rarotonga and of course with the House of Ariki, Members of Parliament, and also the people on the main island itself. So public consultations are important for us and sort of letting our people know what’s happening.”
Teariki Heather says the project will stay within the boundaries of the main road, and won’t cross into any landowners’ properties. But the clerk of the House of Ariki, Tupuna Rakanui, says traditional leaders feel they were not properly consulted on the project and have sought answers from the Business Trade Investment Board.
“TUPUNA RAKANUI: They hear that licenses will be granted to foreigners to commence developments in terms of WATSAN and yet here they are, they are the landowners. They own the lands inland where the water comes down, the reservoirs and our people own the land where these pipes will be running on. They haven’t been consulted.”
In November last year, the Cook Islands made a deal with the China Civil Engineering Company to upgrade the 26 kilometres of water pipes. A Lowy Institute researcher, Dr Philippa Brant, says she is interested in tracking the progression of China’s aid programmes, as it has faced a number of problems in the past. She has recently been in the Cook Islands to study the project, which is considered the world’s first joint aid venture between a recipient, a traditional western donor and China.
“PHILIPPA BRANT: Something that really did strike me was that there was a genuine concern on the Chinese part that particularly the Chinese Embassy in Wellington, that they wanted to I guess make sure that any future projects that they’re involved on did have a positive outcome for the people of the Cook Islands.”
The master plan for Te Mato Vai is due for completion by December and construction will begin next year.

'Good war' ends without any real wins for the West

It is the longest war in Australia's history, astonishingly bipartisan across the political divide yet contentious on whether Australia's shifting objectives were achieved in its Afghanistan commitment.

What role has Australia had in spying on neighbours?

Whistleblowing on surveillance of communications has led to Indonesia reviewing intelligence sharing arrangements with Australia. Sam Roggeveen, Editor of the Lowy Interpreter, shares his thoughts on the spying controversy.

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