A discussion of the most important news and issues in international affairs through a uniquely Australian lens. Hosted by Darren Lim, in memory of Allan Gyngell.
Where to from ”stabilisation” in Australia-China relations?
PM Albanese’s visit to Beijing has ended. Are Australia-China relations “stabilised”? And if so, what’s next? To discuss these big questions Darren is joined by Ben Herscovitch, his colleague at the ANU and author of the indispensable Substack newsletter “Beijing to Canberra and Back”.
Ben Herscovitch, “The Prime Minister's visit, what really caused relationship repair, and a policy takeaway”, Beijing to Canberra and Back, 30 October to 7 November 2023: https://beijing2canberra.substack.com/p/the-prime-ministers-visit-what-really
Ben Herscovitch, “Australia should sanction Chinese officials abusing human rights”, Canberra Times, 7 November 2023: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/8413517/no-escaping-an-uncomfortable-fact-about-pms-handling-of-china/
Darren Lim and Walter Colnaghi, “Allan Gyngell's podcasting contribution to Australian foreign policy”, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 7 November 2023: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10357718.2023.2272825
Yiruma, “River flows in you” (video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7maJOI3QMu0 N
NASA, "Pale blue dot" (image): https://science.nasa.gov/resource/voyager-1s-pale-blue-dot/
Jurassic Park (Film): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_Park_(film)
Ep. 119: When domestic policy is foreign policy (and the PM’s travels)
The ABC’s Stephen Dziedzic joins once again this episode. PM Albanese is visiting China later this week, and Darren frames a new bargaining phase of the relationship, in which both sides (but especially Australia) must manage multiple, complex, and cross-cutting equities. He imagines a ‘ledger’ of ‘wins’ for both sides, and the discussion revolves around what might lie behind some of the recent policy decisions made by the government that appear favourable to Beijing’s interests, such as Darwin port and anti-dumping duties.
The PM has also just returned from a state visit to Washington DC, and so Darren and Stephen discuss the prospects of AUKUS getting through congress, the extent to which there are differences between the Biden Administration and the Albanese government on China, and some other interesting details from a speech delivered by the PM. Stephen then discusses his recent article with Lice Movono on the Fijian government reversing an apparent decision to join a statement criticising China on human rights. The podcast concludes touching upon the fact that Stephen just spent the past week sitting in senate estimates hearings – for what purpose, and what did he learn?
Australia in the World is written, hosted, and produced by Darren Lim, with research and editing this episode by Corbin Duncan and theme music composed by Rory Stenning.
Stephen Dziedzic, “Why did Beijing choose this moment to release Cheng Lei, and what might it signify?”, ABC News, 13 October 2023: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-13/cheng-lei-analysis-xiao-qian-beijing-albanese-visit/102972204
Stephen Dziedzic, “Federal government will not cancel Chinese company Landbridge's Port of Darwin lease”, ABC News, 20 October 2023: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-20/port-of-darwin-chinese-company-lease-not-cancelled/103003452
Stephen Dziedzic and Lice Movono, “Fiji to withdraw name from list of nations criticising China's human rights violations of Uyghur and Muslim minorities”, ABC News, 27 October 2023: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-27/fiji-backs-united-nations-china-human-rights-violations-xinjiang/103025888
Evan Osnos, “China’s age of malaise”, The New Yorker, 23 October 2023: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2023/10/30/chinas-age-of-malaise
Jonathan Jones, Earthly Delights: A History of the Renaissance (Thames and Hudson, 2023): https://thamesandhudson.com.au/product/earthly-delights-a-history-of-the-renaissance/
Ep. 118: A US perspective on Australia’s defence policy
Almost six months have passed since the release of the Defence Strategic Review (DSR), and this episode Darren is joined by Zack Cooper, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, for an American perspective on Australia’s defence policy. The conversation starts with a basic conceptual model and fundamental tensions with Australia’s alliance with the US, before traversing a range of contemporary issues, including AUKUS, the possible re-election of Donald Trump and battlefield lessons from Ukraine.
Australia in the World is written, hosted, and produced by Darren Lim, with research and editing by Corbin Duncan and theme music composed by Rory Stenning.
Zack Cooper, biography: https://www.aei.org/profile/zack-cooper/
Department of Defence, “National Defence: Defence Strategic Review 2023”, April 2023: https://www.defence.gov.au/about/reviews-inquiries/defence-strategic-review
Institute for the Study of War: https://www.understandingwar.org/
Binge Mode: Harry Potter (podcast): https://podbay.fm/p/binge-mode-harry-potter
Ep. 117: Canada-India (emergency episode)
In an 'emergency' episode, Darren is joined by Ian Hall, a Professor at the Griffith Asia Institute, to discuss the truly explosive revelation made this week by PM Trudeau of Canada that Canadian authorities are pursuing allegations linking agents backed by the Indian government to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader (who was a Canadian citizen) on Canadian soil in June.
Noting this story is still in its early days, Ian describes the complex and troubled history and context to this incident, before the two think through the perspectives of the Indian and Canadian governments, and how third countries like Australia might approach the path forward.
Australia in the World is written, hosted and produced by Darren Lim, with editing by Walter Colnaghi and theme music composed by Rory Stenning.
Ep. 116: Australia’s international development policy
The Australian government has launched a new International Development Policy, and Darren is joined by Bridi Rice, CEO of the Development Intelligence Lab, for a discussion of all things development through an Australian lens. The conversation begins with some Development 101: what is “development? What are the goals of development policy and are they contested? How is development policy carried out in practice, and by whom? Bridi describes Australia’s development policy community as coming out of a decade in a “defensive crouch” and provides an overview of the new policy. The conversation ranges widely, including a focus on geopolitics and China and the question of how a development policy can place a climate change agenda at its core.
Australia in the World is written, hosted and produced by Darren Lim, with research and editing by Corbin Duncan and theme music composed by Rory Stenning.
Bridi Rice, biography: https://www.devintelligencelab.com/team/bridi-rice
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “Australia’s International Development Policy”, August 2023: https://www.dfat.gov.au/development/new-international-development-policy
Eryk Bagshaw, “Ransom attack cripples Vanuatu government systems, forces staff to use pen and paper”, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 2022: https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/australia-called-in-to-help-after-hackers-shut-down-vanuatu-government-systems-20221114-p5by7a.html
Pat Conroy, Audience Q&A, Development Policy Forum, Australian National University, 12 September 2023: https://ministers.dfat.gov.au/minister/pat-conroy/transcript/audience-qa-development-policy-forum-australian-national-university
Stefan Dercon, Gambling on Development: Why Some Countries Win and Others Lose (2022): https://www.amazon.com/Gambling-Development-Some-Countries-Others/dp/1787385620
Gambling on development, reviewed: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2022/09/14/book-review-gambling-on-development-why-some-countries-win-and-others-lose-by-stefan-dercon/
Gambling on development, presented to an Australian audience at ANU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3mNwbNDoPg
Hania Rani (musician and composer): https://haniarani.com
Bluey The Album: https://www.bluey.tv/products/bluey-the-album/
Ep. 115: The domestic politics of AUKUS and Pacific security pacts
This episode Darren is thrilled to be joined (for the second time) by Stephen Dziedzic of the ABC, perhaps the finest foreign affairs reporter in Australia and a dear friend of the podcast. While the episode commences with the premise of ‘stories that are bubbling beneath the surface’, over time a clear theme emerges – the domestic politics of security pacts. The conversation begins with a new agreement between Papua New Guinea and the United States that seems to be delaying Canberra’s efforts to conclude its own pact with Port Morseby. Next up is Vanuatu, where Australia was (surprisingly) able to procure the signing of a new security agreement when a new government took office last year, but which is now facing strong ratification headwinds. Meanwhile in Australia, grassroots discontent within the ruling Labor Party regarding AUKUS threatened to overflow at the party’s annual conference this past week. The majority of the podcast was recorded on 11 August, with a quick postscript recorded on 20 August.
Australia in the World is written, hosted and produced by Darren Lim, with research and editing by Walter Colnaghi and theme music composed by Rory Stenning.
Kenneth Clarke, Civilisation (TV series): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX_r9R98DiY
Empire (podcast): https://www.goalhangerpodcasts.com/battleground-copy
China Power (podcast), ‘China’s Influence in Melanesia: A Conversation with Pete Connolly’, 2 August 2023: https://www.csis.org/podcasts/chinapower/chinas-influence-melanesia-conversation-pete-connolly
Richard Kerbaj, The Secret History of the Five Eyes: The Untold Story of the International Spy Network (review): https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/oct/02/the-secret-history-of-the-five-eyes-untold-story-international-spy-network-by-richard-kerbaj-review
Henry Reynolds, Truth-Telling: History, sovereignty and the Uluru Statement, NewSouth Books: https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/truth-telling/
Great to hear you back Darren. This podcast is a valuable contribution to essential commentary and analysis that is all too scarce in the Australian media landscape. All the best. Bill H
I’ve really missed this podcast, so thank you for being courageous and resuming Of course AG is irreplaceable, but it’s wonderful to hear your important, clever, sensible, and objective analysts.
This work profoundly influenced me. It connected me with new ideas about what I could professionally do as an Australian and prompted me to change careers. The work for us continues. Vale Allan.