68 episodes

A discussion of the most important news and issues in international affairs through a uniquely Australian lens. Hosted by Allan Gyngell and Darren Lim.

Australia in the Worl‪d‬ Allan Gyngell and Darren Lim

    • Politics
    • 4.7 • 92 Ratings

A discussion of the most important news and issues in international affairs through a uniquely Australian lens. Hosted by Allan Gyngell and Darren Lim.

    Ep. 68: Natasha Kassam on preparing for a China-led world

    Ep. 68: Natasha Kassam on preparing for a China-led world

    Natasha Kassam of the Lowy Institute joins the podcast this week, to join Darren in facing interrogation from Allan arising from their co-authored essay, published this week in Australian Foreign Affairs (Issue 11) entitled “Future Shock: How to Prepare for a China-led World”. The questions the essay tries to answer are: what would China’s leadership of the international order look like, what does this mean for Australia, and what (if anything) can Australia do to protect its interests?
    What follows is a genuinely substantive and complex discussion about the nature of China’s intentions for the global order and the consequences of its actions. Does China—or more accurately the Chinese Community Party—really need the liberal dimensions of the order “suppressed or eliminated”, as Natasha and Darren argue? If so, which parts? The issue of transparency is central to their argument, and the domains of public health and human rights are key examples. Nevertheless, is China’s challenge to the order that different from that of any other rising power, or Donald Trump for that matter? And which actions represent genuine challenges, versus a more traditional assertion of interests, such as Joe Biden’s recent claim that America’s democratic values are “the grounding wire of… our global power”? And finally, what can Australia do?
    The China debate in Australia has become increasingly fraught and acrimonious in recent years and, as always, this episode represents an effort to hash out complex and truly difficult issues by providing all three participants the time and space to contextualise (and caveat) their views.
    We thank AIIA intern Mitchell McIntosh for his help with audio editing today and, as he departs, more generally for outstanding work during his time with us, as well as Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.
    Relevant Links
    Australian Foreign Affairs, Issue 11, “The march of autocracy” (2021): https://www.australianforeignaffairs.com/essay/2021/02/the-march-of-autocracy
    Natasha Kassam and Darren Lim “How China is remaking the world in its vision”, The Conversation, 22 February 2021 (extract of AFA essay): https://theconversation.com/how-china-is-remaking-the-world-in-its-vision-155377
    Kai Kupferschmidt, “ ‘Politics was always in the room.’ WHO mission chief reflects on China trip seeking COVID-19’s origin” Science, 14 February 2021: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/02/politics-was-always-room-who-mission-chief-reflects-china-trip-seeking-covid-19-s
    Mara Hvistendahl, “How Oracle sells repression in China”, The Intercept, 18 February 2021: https://theintercept.com/2021/02/18/oracle-china-police-surveillance/
    Marise Payne, “Australia and the world in the time of Covid-19” Speech at the National Security College, ANU, 16 June 2020: https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/speech/australia-and-world-time-covid-19
    António Guterres, “Secretary-General Guterres calls for a global reset, ‘to recover better, guided by human rights’”, Speech to the Human Rights Council, 22 February 2021: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26769
    Jon Emont, “How China Persuaded One Muslim Nation to Keep Silent on Xinjiang Camps”, Wall Street Journal, 11 December 2019: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-china-persuaded-one-muslim-nation-to-keep-silent-on-xinjiang-camps-11576090976
    Joe Biden, “Remarks on America’s place in the world” US State Department HQ, 4 February 2021: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/02/04/remarks-by-president-biden-on-americas-place-in-the-world/

    • 53 min
    Ep. 67: NZ-China-Australia; Myanmar; Xi's WEF speech; Australia-Malaysia CSP

    Ep. 67: NZ-China-Australia; Myanmar; Xi's WEF speech; Australia-Malaysia CSP

    This week's episode begins with the advice New Zealand’s Trade Minister Damien O’Connor attempted to offer Australia on how to manage bilateral relations with China. Was it helpful, and regardless does Australia have something to learn from the way New Zealand conducts its diplomacy and foreign policy? And what explains the starkly different trajectories of the bilateral relationships Canberra and Wellington have with Beijing?
    The military has taken power in Myanmar—again—and Allan offers a sorrowful perspective on the state of the country to which he was first posted as a young diplomat. Meanwhile, Darren wonders what the Biden administration will do, and wonders whether there is merit in the US looking to support some key Southeast Asian governments in their response, rather than necessarily attempting to lead at a time when their own democratic credentials are diminished. Is "ASEAN solidarity" still in the interests of all of its member states? 
    Regular podcast listeners will know how much stock Allan and Darren place on speeches, and this week they focus on the speech given by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the World Economic Forum. How is reading and analysing a speech from a Chinese leader different to that of an Australian PM or US president? What were the notable takeaways from this speech, and who was its primary audience?
    Finally, Australia has a brand new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Malaysia. Perhaps an example of “fresh thinking” in Australian foreign policy?
    We thank AIIA intern Mitchell McIntosh for his help with research and audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.
    Relevant Links
    Weizhen Tan, “Nationalism ‘is not the way forward’: New Zealand minister calls for more trade relationships” CNBC, 27 January 2021: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/27/new-zealand-trade-minister-on-trade-deal-with-china-china-australia-tensions.html
    “New Zealand’s Foreign Minister speaks on how New Zealand tackled the pandemic”, ABC 7:30 report, 28 January 2021: https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/pause-in-travel-bubble-with-new-zealand-extended/13100700
    Marise Payne, “Statement on Myanmar”, 1 February 2021: https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/media-release/statement-myanmar
    Economist Intelligence Unit, “Democracy Index 2020: In sickness and in health?”: https://www.eiu.com/n/campaigns/democracy-index-2020/
    Xi Jinping, “Let the Torch of Multilateralism Light up Humanity's Way Forward”, Speech to the World Economic Forum, 26 January 2021: https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-01-25/Full-text-Xi-Jinping-s-speech-at-the-virtual-Davos-Agenda-event-Xln4hwjO2Q/index.html
    Cobus van Staden, “What did Xi Jinping Really Say at Davos?”, China Africa Project, 26 January 2021: https://mailchi.mp/0f0b40daa599/what-did-xi-jinping-really-say-at-davos?e=832ad9dc70
    “Joint Statement on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Australia and Malaysia”, 27 January 2021: https://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/malaysia/joint-statement-comprehensive-strategic-partnership-between-australia-and-malaysia
    John Blaxland, “Behind the Australia-Thailand strategic partnership”, East Asia Forum, 27 January 2021: https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2021/01/27/behind-the-australia-thailand-strategic-partnership/
    Sinica podcast, “A new U.S. strategy in East Asia, from the Quincy Institute”, 21 January 2021: https://supchina.com/podcast/a-new-u-s-strategy-in-east-asia-from-the-quincy-institute/
    Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind, “National Developmentalism: From Forgotten Tradition to New Consensus”, American Affairs Volume III, Number 2 (Summer 2019): https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2019/05/national-developmentalism-from-forgotten-tradition-to-new-consensus/

    • 40 min
    Ep. 66: Revisiting the Capitol; a declassified Indo-Pacific strategy; Five Countries (!), & fresh ideas for Aussie FP?

    Ep. 66: Revisiting the Capitol; a declassified Indo-Pacific strategy; Five Countries (!), & fresh ideas for Aussie FP?

    Recorded the day after Joe Biden’s inauguration as President, Allan and Darren begin the episode by returning to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on 6 January, reflecting on whether their initial assessments need to be updated based on what we now know about the day, and the events since.
    Next, they discuss a 2018 document outlining the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy that was declassified (more than 20 years ahead of schedule) by the White House as it was leaving office.
    Third, Allan returns to his fascination with Australia’s cooperation with its Five Eyes partners, this time in the wake of a curious Department of Home Affairs media release discussing a “Five Country” grouping.
    Finally, Darren admits to being triggered by a recent piece in the Australian Financial Review calling for “fresh thinking” in Australian foreign policy—is the situation that dire and is this the answer? And can a “wise old owl” like Allan provide it? The result is an interesting discussion about the barriers to entry into contributing to Australian foreign policy.
    We thank AIIA intern Mitchell McIntosh for his help audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.
    Relevant Links
    Scott Morrison, Interview with Jim Wilson 2GB, 18 January 2021: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/interview-jim-wilson-2gb-180121
    Luke Mogelson, “Among the insurrectionists”, The New Yorker, 15 January 2021:
    Gillian Tett, “America’s political crisis runs deeper than ideology”, Financial Times, 13 January 2021: https://www.ft.com/content/d8c59645-0f30-4647-a577-8ef3cc37ceee
    Derek Thompson, “Biden should go big, fast and simple”, The Atlantic, 20 January 2021: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/biden-go-big/617737/
    Amanda Gorman reads “The hill we climb”, 20 January 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz4YuEvJ3y4
    “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific”, Document declassified on 5 January 2021, available at: https://news.usni.org/2021/01/15/u-s-strategic-framework-for-the-indo-pacific
    Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Zach Dorfman, “Newly declassified report lays out U.S. strategy in Asia”, Axios, 12 January 2021: https://www.axios.com/indo-pacific-strategy-trump-administration-china-377b965c-6cf8-4299-a230-c0e869bb4d73.html
    Peter Dutton, “Five Country Statement to EU to prevent child abuse online”, Media release, 15 January 2021: https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/peterdutton/Pages/five-country-statement-EU-prevent-child-abuse-online.aspx
    UK Home Office, “Five Country Ministerial starts in London” Press release, 5 February 2015: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/five-country-ministerial-starts-in-london
    Andrew Clark, “Time for new foreign policy thinking in the Canberra citadel”, Australian Financial Review, 15 January 2021: https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/time-for-new-foreign-policy-thinking-in-the-canberra-citadel-20210115-p56ucu
    Vitalik Buterin, “Endnotes on 2020: Crypto and beyond”, 28 December 2021: https://vitalik.ca/general/2020/12/28/endnotes.html
    Malcolm Turnbull, A bigger picture, Hardie Grant: https://www.hardiegrant.com/au/publishing/bookfinder/book/a-bigger-picture-by-malcolm-turnbull/9781743795637
    Christopher Pyne, The insider: the scoops, the scandals and the serious business within the Canberra bubble, Hachette Australia, https://www.hachette.com.au/christopher-pyne/the-insider-the-scoops-the-scandals-and-the-serious-business-within-the-canberra-bubble
    Arnold Schwarznegger, Message following this week’s attack on the Capitol, 10 January 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_P-0I6sAck

    • 40 min
    Ep. 65: Processing events at the U.S. Capitol

    Ep. 65: Processing events at the U.S. Capitol

    Following the shocking events on Wednesday 6 January when a mob of Trump supporters (incited by the president) stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, Allan and Darren offer their reactions in this episode recorded in the afternoon of Friday 8th. Above all, does this drama change how they see the short- and medium-term trajectory of the United States? For Allan the events reinforce rather than change views he’s formed over the past four years, while Darren tries, perhaps foolishly, to offer an optimistic assessment.
    We thank AIIA intern Mitchell McIntosh for his help audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.
    Relevant Links
    Bruno Maçães, History has begun: The birth of a new America (Hurst Publishers): https://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/history-has-begun/
    All in: The fight for Democracy (Amazon Prime): https://www.amazon.com/All-Fight-Democracy-Stacey-Abrams/dp/B08FRQQKD5
    Matthew Continetti, “Trump must pay”, National Review, 6 January 2021: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/trump-must-pay/
    Yuval Levin, “Trump’s rebellion against reality”, The Dispatch, 7 January 2021” https://thedispatch.com/p/trumps-rebellion-against-reality
    Bruno Maçães, “The roleplaying coup”, City Journal, 7 January 2021: https://www.city-journal.org/the-role-playing-coup

    • 34 min
    Ep. 64: A cabinet reshuffle, politician ambassadors, the Richardson Review and summer homework

    Ep. 64: A cabinet reshuffle, politician ambassadors, the Richardson Review and summer homework

    Allan and Darren begin their final episode of 2020 with the recent cabinet reshuffle, specifically Dan Tehan becoming Minister for Trade and Andrew Hastie becoming Assistant Minister for Defence. Tehan replaces Simon Birmingham, the new Finance Minister, and Allan explains what he most admires about ‘Birmo’, giving Tehan—himself a former diplomat—big shoes to fill. On the Defence side, we now have a Defence Minister, and an Assistant Defence Minister, who have both served in the Australian Defence Force—something unusual and notable.
    The discussion moves to the appointment of Will Hodgman, a former Premier of Tasmania, to be Australia’s next High Commissioner to Singapore. Allan wonders what specialised skills (if any) the government believes head of mission posts require, while Darren offers a very personal reflection on the wide range of abilities required to be an Ambassador, especially in a crisis situation.
    Next the conversation turns to the Richardson Review, chaired by friend of the podcast Dennis Richardson and which, at over 1300 pages in length, is a deep and comprehensive inquiry into the legislation governing Australia’s intelligence community. Allan explains why the report is so significant and lists some highlights. Liberal democracies across the world are grappling with the perennial question of “freedom versus security”, and the powers (and oversight) of intelligence agencies are central to these debates. Getting the balance right is important not just in and of itself, but for demonstrating that the liberal democratic model can manage uniquely 21st century challenges.
    Finally, Allan and Darren preview their “summer homework”. What is each looking to learn more about over the summer, and why? For Allan, the answer revolves around the degree of agency Australia has in the emerging international order, and for Darren the answer is—as always it seems—to understand more about China itself, and Beijing’s intentions.
    We thank AIIA intern Mitchell McIntosh for his help with research and audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.
    Relevant Links
    Scott Morrison, Media Statement [Cabinet reshuffle], 18 December 2020: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/ministry-0  
    Marise Payne, Media release “High Commissioner to Singapore”, 29 November 2020: https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/media-release/high-commissioner-singapore
    Daniel Flitton, “More pollies in more posts”, Lowy Interpreter, 3 December 2020: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/more-pollies-more-posts
    Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Legal Framework of the National Intelligence Community, 4 December 2020: https://www.ag.gov.au/national-security/publications/report-comprehensive-review-legal-framework-national-intelligence-community
    Sun Yun, “‘Politics come first’ as ban on Australian coal worsens China’s power cuts”, Financial Times, 21 December 2020: https://www.ft.com/content/e83fffeb-3ef2-4b67-8989-6d17f153d8d4
    Pekingology podcast: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/pekingology
    The Aubrey-Martin series (Wikipedia entry): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey%E2%80%93Maturin_series
    The Mandalorian, Disney Plus: https://disneyplusoriginals.disney.com/show/the-mandalorian
    Brune Macaes, “Dune and the infinite game”, 17 December 2020: https://brunomacaes.substack.com/p/dune-and-the-infinite-game
    The Realignment podcast: https://the-realignment.simplecast.com/

    • 35 min
    Ep. 63: Climate change and Australia, with Howard Bamsey

    Ep. 63: Climate change and Australia, with Howard Bamsey

    Allan and Darren welcome Professor Howard Bamsey to the podcast, who offers unmatched experience regarding Australia’s international engagement with the issue of climate change.
    Beginning his professional life in DFAT, Howard has worked in almost all the parts of the Australian government dealing with climate change, including the Departments of the Environment and Climate Change. He has been CEO of the Australian Greenhouse Office, Australia’s special envoy on climate change, the Ambassador for the Environment, Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and Special Adviser on Green Growth to AusAid. He was director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute, is currently chair of the Global Water Partnership and Honorary Professor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the ANU, and is a member of the boards of the Climate Policy Initiative and Climate Works Australia.
    For those listeners who do not follow it closely, the conversation begins with an introduction to the issue of climate change. What is the scale and urgency of the climate challenge the planet confronts right now? What are the institutions and processes through which the international community is trying to address these challenges? In answering these questions, Howard describes Australia’s contribution to the international architecture that now exists.
    Yet the current Australian government’s position remains an outlier, especially regarding a commitment to carbon neutrality, why? How “pragmatic” are Australians in international negotiations? How does the issue of climate change affect our relationship with our neighbours in the South Pacific – what are we doing, and what can we do better?
    The conversation turns to domestic politics – is climate change a “culture war” issue? And what strategy should the international community adopt to shift Australian policy?
    Looking ahead to the next COP meeting in Glasgow, Allan asks Howard what a Biden presidency will mean for Australia, while Darren asks what role the UN and international cooperation can play into the future in facilitating investment. Finally, what does Howard say to young people about the trajectory of climate change action?
    As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj
    We thank AIIA intern Mitchell McIntosh for help with research and audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.
    Relevant links
    Horward Bamsey, short biography: https://climate.anu.edu.au/about/people/academics/prof-howard-bamsey
    Gideon Rachman, “The perilous politics of climate change”, Financial Times, 1 July 2019: https://www.ft.com/content/70f290de-9bd8-11e9-9c06-a4640c9feebb

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
92 Ratings

92 Ratings

Margyargy ,

Australia in the World

Darren Lim and Alan Gyngel are brilliantly filling a gaping hole in our understanding of Australian foreign policy and diplomacy. I appreciate the gift of their expertise and questioning minds. I’d like these podcasts to be more regular than they are. And would suggest to Darren that he learn how to relax his voice to be more easy to listen to but wouldn’t want in any way to quash his enthusiasm or courtesy. This is a civilised little island in current affairs. Non adversarial. Simply informative. Great initiative of the Australian Institute for International Affairs. Thank you both.

MycailaJ ,

Credible and credit-worthy

I thoroughly enjoy this podcast. Rather than rely on my review, I commend to you the episodes with Duncan Lewis as a starting point.

up62steps ,


Riveting podcast on all things foreign policy and news and thoughts. Addictive.

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