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The Forum > Article Comments > Recognising the Asian Century at last > Comments

Recognising the Asian Century at last : Comments

By Rory Medcalf, published 2/11/2012

What is extraordinary is the fact that it has taken this long for an Australian government even to attempt a comprehensive and publicly-articulated plan for charting the nation's future in Asia.

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Excellent assessment of the Australia in Asia white paper by Rory Medcalf. Each segment in Australian government, industry, commerce and education should start to develop collaborative strategies and action plans for meaningful engagement with our region. DFAT and Austrade need to show greater leadership and need to be given the resources and the sense of urgency to deliver better outcomes. The positive impact of engagement with Asia can be accelerate and broadened if all key stakeholders including diasporas work together as a team and invest cash and in-kind contributions to transformational projects
Posted by Macedonian advocacy, Friday, 2 November 2012 9:31:56 AM
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Well if this is the Lowy Institute and Rory Medcalf at it/his best, perhaps they should shut up shop now.

The Asian Century may be 12 years old now, it will be lucky to survive another 10.

I think it is a blessing the White Paper has no policy and even less depth in many other areas; it is, thank goodness, just another waste of taxpayer money.

As to Rory's "The paper is right to point to the goal of ensuring that all Australian schools offer Asian languages", I would espouse a different route, one that sees our education system ensure that all students gain a basic level of literacy and numeracy, firstly in the English language and basic mathematics, from what I see of current high school and tertiary student graduates, they, in the main, seem to lack so many of the basic skills that this country once excelled at producing.

Globalisation is a failure and remains a political and economic flight of fancy.

There is no doubt there will be some opportunities in Asian in the future, but just as importantly, so to will the opportunities in the US, Europe, Africa and other regions of the planet. Hedging one's bet on a single region for a nations future is about as smart as backing a donkey in a horse race.

I think Rory needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink this totally misguided, myopic view of our nationís future.
Posted by Geoff of Perth, Friday, 2 November 2012 10:26:39 AM
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Is it just "another big-talking government report"? Will it turn out to be a substitute for the wrong kinds of action or more strategic absolute inaction?

What is "sustainable security". Given this is a loaded term, especially concerning the ambiguity surrounding... 'What security Is' and that it is not as important as 'What security Does'? Who is the target of this "sustainable" security and who is not? "Building sustainable security in the region (Chapter 8)", page 23 of the ALP's Asian White Paper.

I can not see a genuine approach through this Asian White paper when the greater part of the Asian population itself is left out of the middle and bottom end of a planning "people to people" connection with Australia.

True Macedonian advocacy, Australia needs to show greater leadership and a sense of urgency to deliver better outcomes. While I see competitive intentions I don't see "co-operative" except in narrow areas. Nor attention on expanding diversified economies, proper address to education, a grasp of innovation with building social cohesion, infrastructure, or how we target support for environmental development, security or true blue equity... or reciprocity .

The Asian paper steals words like "sustainable" and "engagement' through 'speech acts' and related spin. It lacks the address of people within whole populations, human security, non-traditional securities/insecurities and any vision of "beyond".

As with Australia's Asylum Seeker and Refugee policies, Australia reflects it ignorance in its neglect of transnational issues except in areas that substitute pathways of progressive action, through policies that encourage the use of typical forms of traditional force.

As I have said elsewhere, without proper address to the Asian diversities, without a positive approach as a partner prepared to "share the burden", without more care on the subject of "how" from both an Asian and Australian perspective, this paper merely flags the kind of substance intellectual students are marked down for as lacking depth. When one considers that this, is yet another 'Asian aspiration" paper delivered by the privileged elite [experts], it does leave us wanting if not profoundly perplexed.

http://www.miacat.com/
Posted by miacat, Saturday, 3 November 2012 1:25:27 AM
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Labor expects Kudos for producing a vision for Australia's engagement with Asia. This white paper, done by a third party, is largely an exercise in stating the obvious. Much of the suggestions have been followed by business for years. The salient points of engagement that the paper highlights (such as teaching Asian languages) are actually the areas where the Labor government has been going backwards, but have been Liberal policy for years.

The blocking of investment in Rio by China, the Blocking of Hauwei's involvement in the NBN, and the Live export to Indonesia fiasco have sent a message that Australia does not trust Asia.

Once again Labor is spin over substance.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Saturday, 3 November 2012 4:24:11 AM
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Perhaps unavoidable, perhaps unpreventable, but calling it "the universal good of engagement with Asia"?

The so-called "good" is nothing but greed, especially for cheap new electronic gadgets, ultimately underlying our prospects for self-sufficiency.

One day we will be sorry!
Posted by Yuyutsu, Sunday, 4 November 2012 11:30:13 AM
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Sorry for the error: "underlining" ==> "undermining"
Posted by Yuyutsu, Sunday, 4 November 2012 11:33:29 AM
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