Cambodia

Between a crocodile and a tiger: Australia’s refugee deal with Cambodia

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MELISSA CURLEY believes Australia’s much-criticised deal to resettle refugees in Cambodia could help raise awareness of international norms relating to refugee protection in a country where it is sorely required. Australia’s decision to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Cambodian government on the resettlement of refugees in Cambodia—ostensibly as part of a wider ‘regional […]

Japan

The democratic deficit of collective self-defence in Japan

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The manner in which Shinzo Abe’s cabinet has reinterpreted the pacifist clause of Japan’s constitution invokes unsettling shadows from former, darker days, writes RIKKI KERSTEN. When Abe Shinzo’s cabinet decided on 1 July 2014 to revise the interpretation of the pacifist clause of Japan’s constitution, commentators in Japan and around the world took notice. Those […]

China

Xi walks tightrope on Xinjiang policy

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Beijing signals a change in tack in dealing with its intractable western province, writes BRETT ELMER. Eid al-Fitr—the festival where Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan—was marked in Xinjiang this year by bloody clashes between Chinese police and Uyghurs. On 28 July, violence broke out in Shache (in Uyghur, Yarkand) county, Kashgar province, in southern […]

Afghanistan

Afghans pin new hopes on national unity government

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Keeping together a fragile alliance will be a challenge for Afghanistan’s new national government, writes NIAMATULLAH IBRAHIMI. On 29 September, to the relief of Afghans and the international community, Afghanistan’s national unity government was sworn in after a prolonged and disputed presidential runoff. This was the first peaceful transfer of power from one elected president […]

Thailand

Understanding Thailand

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The serious study of Thailand remains a marginal concern in Australia, writes NICHOLAS FARRELLY. On 22 May 2014, Thai society was shunted by yet another military coup. The country’s political order is now being reshaped by an ambitious cohort of army leaders seeking to finally stamp out the influence of deposed former prime minister Thaksin […]

Afghanistan

Karzai’s chequered legacy

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After two terms in power, Afghanistan’s first elected president has left behind a profoundly transformed country, writes ALI REZA YUNESPOUR. When Hamid Karzai was announced as the chairman of the Interim Authority at the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan in 2001, he was given responsibility for leading a country ruined by decades of war and poverty. […]