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Dr Merridan Varrall is lost on China

25 October 2014

When I am in Shanghai, I attend a monthly “China HR Professional Group” social event, which is an invitation only gathering hosted by Alsen Hsien, president of Take5 People. I went to the last meeting with a plan to get good feed-back on a claim by Dr Merriden Varrall, Director, East Asia Program at the Lowy Institute (made on 23 September) that “relationships among people are totally different in Western and Chinese societies”. Did they agree with what Varrell had written? “Yes and no”, as one said. None of these people thought that Varrell had got the balance right. I was not surprised for a number of reasons.

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Paul Dibb, Crimea, US bull in “China shop”

19 March 2014

The Crimea crisis largely stems from decisions made by Washington and Brussels since the collapse of the Soviet Empire more than two decades ago. While China is now exhibiting a more aggressive attitude than did Russia after the collapse of the USSR, Paul Dibb makes a number of questionable assumptions and leaps in logic (with holier than thou attitudes) which are, all too often, the trade-mark of US foreign policy. Can the US respond to Chinese assertiveness is a measured way? Or, will it get logically lost as it did with Russia, and make the situation worse?

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Beazley and Fullilove as fools

16 January 2014

Australian Ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, has reportedly (“The Australian”, 15 January, 2014) endorsed comments apparently made some years ago by John Howard when asked to describe Australia: “Like California, only more supportive of the US government”. Beazley seems to share with Michael Fullilove, of the Lowy Institute, an excessive loyalty to the past and present governments of the US; indeed, their loyalties to the US may be equal to or even exceed those to Australia.

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Greg Sheridan and Cameron Stewart “on the take”

15 December 2013

Greg Sheridan seems to have had a conversation with his good mate Tony Abbott in which they agreed to let Cameron Stewart report, in “The Weekend Australian”, on some Australian “national security” secrets.

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