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3 March 2021

Myanmar stand-off

Myanmar’s United Nations ambassador, Kyaw Moe Tun, has been sacked after publicly criticising the military coup that occurred in his country in February.

As the military violence against protesters intensified this week, the junta said Tun had spoken on behalf of an unofficial organisation that didn’t represent the country. Tun was appointed …

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24 February 2021

Facebook diplomacy

Scott Morrison moved quickly last week to seek support from foreign leaders for Australia’s showdown with Facebook, which led to the tech giant banning news from its Australian platform.

Given the potential economic power a global technology platform can wield in a dispute – even with a relatively large economy, such as Australia – seeking …

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17 February 2021

Modi faces revolt

For the past three months, farmers in India have been protesting against federal laws that will deregulate the country’s tightly controlled food markets. The farmers say the changes will leave them vulnerable to exploitation by large commodity companies.

The protests have taken on national and even international significance, because they …

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10 February 2021

Divides over Myanmar

Last Friday, the leaders of Indonesia and Malaysia proposed a special meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to discuss the military takeover in Myanmar.

Normally, special meetings would be initiated by the ASEAN chair – currently Brunei – which can be slow to act, as members do not traditionally interfere in one another’s …

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3 February 2021

Coup in Myanmar

On Monday, armed forces seized control of Myanmar. Declaring a one-year state of emergency, the military detained the leader of the ruling National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other civilian politicians. It alleges that the NLD fraudulently won the November 2020 election against the military-aligned opposition.

The …

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16 December

Australian Foreign Affairs Annual Index – 2020 Edition

COVID-19 cases in Australia on 23 March 2020 (lockdown day): 1709
Total cases in Australia as of 14 December 2020: 28,048
Cases in the United States on 23 March 2020: 35,206
Total cases in the United States as of 14 December 2020: 16,518,420

Number of entities on Australia’s foreign influence register: 153
Proportion …

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9 December 2020

Australia’s five big challenges for 2021

The pandemic may have provided a diversion from other foreign affairs issues in 2020, but with a new US administration and the China–Australia relationship in a downward spiral, Australia will face five big challenges in 2021.

The China question

In 2020, Australia’s relationship with its …

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25 November 2020

Beyond the G20

The major economies of the G20 sought to reassert their global influence on Sunday by agreeing to cooperate on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, the reinvigoration of the world trading system and debt relief for poor countries.

While Scott Morrison joined other G20 leaders in supporting the proposed measures, Australia has already taken targeted …

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18 November 2020

Japan defence pact

On Tuesday, Scott Morrison and Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga reached an in-principle agreement on a Japan–Australia defence pact, which will allow closer military cooperation on exercises and shared use of resources, including bases and fuel.

The agreement came as Morrison made his first overseas trip since the outbreak of the …

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11 November 2020

Summit season

Asia’s summit season starts this week amid some likely distraction in regional diplomatic circles caused by the US presidential election.

As the summits are being held online due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, officials have had greater access to each other to prepare for the summits. On the other hand, leaders won’t have the …

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