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AFA Weekly is a free email published each Wednesday by Australian Foreign Affairs.
Written and curated by editor Greg Earl, it features news and insights on crucial world events and their effect on Australia, in a style that’s clear, succinct and free of jargon.
It also offers a round-up of the week’s key articles by leading foreign policy thinkers from Australia and around the world.
Read previous editions
12 May 2021
The diversification of the Australian economy is the standout international relations theme of yesterday’s federal budget.
Measures supporting this objective will be undertaken by several departments, not just the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This reflects the government’s new focus on creating cross-government responses to …
05 May 2021
India travel ban
The Morrison government’s tough penalties for anyone returning from India are raising questions about its responsibility for Australian citizens abroad.
Up to 9000 Australians have been left stranded in India amid a collapse in its health-care system and a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.
The penalties represent a conflict between …
28 April 2021
Victoria’s China deals
Last week, the Morrison government cancelled Victoria’s two Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) agreements under its new Foreign Arrangements Scheme.
The government revealed it is auditing more than 1000 agreements that state governments, local governments and universities have made with other countries.
Creating a national register of …
21 April 2021
Myanmar neighbours meet
On Saturday, South-East Asian leaders are due to meet in Jakarta to discuss the Myanmar coup, which could be a historic test of credibility for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Since its founding in 1967, the ten-member group has survived decades of regional political turmoil – largely by adhering to a policy of non-interference …
14 April 2021
The new capitalism
Last week, the International Monetary Fund initiated a program to let poor countries swap debt for green investments and backed a “solidarity tax” on companies and individuals who have benefited from COVID-19.
In addition, the world financial watchdog expanded its reserves by US$650 billion and used a meeting with the World Bank to urge …
7 April 2021
Australia has commenced an international education overhaul, which could lead to big changes in the sector.
The number of foreign students admitted is likely to drop, their countries of origin may be different, and fewer students may be educated on Australian campuses. More teaching will be delivered online, and course offerings to foreign …
31 March 2021
Battle for Myanmar
On Sunday, defence force chiefs from Australia and eleven other countries issued a joint statement urging the Myanmar military to “cease violence and work to restore respect and credibility with the people of Myanmar”.
The chiefs were responding to the massacre of more than 100 people by Myanmar’s security forces on Saturday – the …
24 March 2021
Top officials of the Biden administration and the Chinese government met for the first time last week in Alaska. The talks started with an unusually acrimonious public exchange, which seemed to suggest the US–China relationship was entering a new phase of confrontation.
But the talks ended with officials making more positive comments, which …
17 March 2021
The Quad rises
The leaders of the countries belonging to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – United States, Japan, India and Australia – met for the first time last Saturday.
The Quad failed to get off the ground ten years ago, due to differences among its members, but it has taken much firmer shape over the past four years. Last week’s online meeting …
10 March 2021
China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, began its annual meeting last week. Its discussion so far has underlined the competing images China now presents to the world.
Premier Li Keqiang announced a target of at least six per cent annual economic growth for the year. Li’s announcement signalled an unexpected return to China’s …
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