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Australian Democrats

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On This Day (Australia): In 1969, former Australian Democrats leader and senator Natasha Stott Despoja was born


On 9 September 1969, former Australian Democrats leader and senator Natasha Stott Despoja was born. Natasha Jessica Stott Despoja AO is an Australian politician, diplomat, advocate and author. She is the founding Chair of the Board of Our Watch, the national foundation to prevent violence against women and their children, and was previously the Australian Ambassador … Continue reading

On This Day In Australia: In 1986, Janine Haines became leader of the Australian Democrats and Australia’s first female party leader


On 18 August 1986, Janine Haines become the leader of the Australian Democrats and Australia’s first female party leader. Janine Winton Carter was born on 8 May 1945 in Tanunda, South Australia. She was an Australian politician who was a Senator for South Australia from 1977 to 1978 and again from 1981 to 1990. She represented the Australian Democrats, and … Continue reading

Australian democracy under threat


Two things have happened in the past two weeks that should be of great concern to all Australians. First, the Prime Minister established a “national cabinet” for the first time in our history, saying it was needed to coordinate action on the coronavirus outbreak. Second, the PM shut down Federal Parliament for at least five months, again because … Continue reading

Climate change denials and the toilet paper wars


The fear about coronavirus seems worse than the virus itself, yet somehow the fear of climate change seems not to have hit yet. In recent weeks we have seen people fighting over toilet paper, and one man pulling a knife and getting tasered by police. This seems to have been triggered by the government telling people to stock … Continue reading

Pauline Hanson was wrong on Closing the Gap


Pauline Hanson recently responded to the latest annual Closing the Gap Report. At the outset, I am not going to call her a racist – that’s a word too often used to elicit an emotive response rather than to engage in serious debate. She is, however, part of the problem with her opinions based on … Continue reading

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Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

China’s military has an Achilles’ heel: Low troop morale

China’s military has an Achilles’ heel: Low troop morale

The Chinese Communist Party has unintentionally revealed weaknesses of the country’s military. One indication came with the building of facilities for launching new intercontinental ballistic missiles in an inland desert region. The other was a series of further attempts to increase childbirths, including measures to help reduce the costly burden of educating children. Behind these […]

Cadence Column: Asia, September 20, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, September 20, 2021

China steps up expansion via Hong Kong elections. Seven editors are banned from Wikipedia on concerns of not acting in good faith and with relation to China. The US sails through the Taiwan Straight again, this time a destroyer. Taiwan wants more backup runways for fighter jets. Escalations only continue and no side shows any […]

China adds powerful new ship to maritime patrol fleet

China adds powerful new ship to maritime patrol fleet

China has added a new powerful ship to its fleet of maritime patrol vessels in the South China Sea, state media has reported. The 5,560-ton Hai Xun 03 was launched on Tuesday and will become the largest ocean patrol ship under the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), the official China News Service reported, adding that […]

A lesson in political economy on investments in China

A lesson in political economy on investments in China

Paul Krugman, the eminent Nobel laureate in economics, recalls how companies are different from nations and their reasons. Business managers have different perspectives. It is economists – not managers – who place the question of foreign trade, the balance of payments and the exchange rate at the center of their reflections. Since 1989, China and […]

Are China’s climate promises just a load of hot air? (Yes!)

Are China’s climate promises just a load of hot air? (Yes!)

China is prepared to hold its cooperation on climate issues hostage to Western concessions elsewhere. Few cities in China represent the country’s addiction to coal more than Tianjin, where Alok Sharma travelled this week to talk about cooperation on climate issues. It sits on the coast of one of China’s most polluted regions, and its […]

The vanishing allure of doing business in China

The vanishing allure of doing business in China

It is nothing new for foreign firms to endure shakedowns by the Chinese Communist Party. As far back as revolutionary times, Chairman Mao’s victorious troops did not directly confiscate foreign-owned assets as their Bolshevik forerunners had done in Russia. Instead, they wore them down with higher taxes and fines so big that eventually companies gave […]

Wikipedia blames pro-China infiltration for bans

Wikipedia blames pro-China infiltration for bans

Wikipedia has suffered an “infiltration” that sought to advance the aims of China, the US non-profit organisation that owns the volunteer-edited encyclopaedia has said. The Wikimedia Foundation told BBC News the infiltration had threatened the “very foundations of Wikipedia”. The foundation banned seven editors linked to a mainland China group. Wikimedians of Mainland China accused […]

Diaries of former Mao aide spark custody battle over unofficial history of China

Diaries of former Mao aide spark custody battle over unofficial history of China

Today, “Li materials” are the subject of a legal battle between Stanford University and Mr. Li’s widow in Beijing. This is a battle for custody of an unofficial history of China. In millions of handwritten Chinese characters, Mr. Li documents his early days in the party, the revolution that brought him to power and his […]

World’s dirtiest cities list raises issue: Why don’t politicians call out China?

World’s dirtiest cities list raises issue: Why don’t politicians call out China?

Ponder this: A new tally of global cities’ emissions finds that the top 25 are responsible for 52% of the planet’s urban greenhouse gas emissions. Twenty-three of those are in China. New York City is the first American city to appear, at No. 26. Out of the top 75, just four other American cities are listed […]

Cadence Column: Asia, September 13, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, September 13, 2021

The easiest solution to China’s escalating situation in the South Sea is to enforce China’s own formal statements at face value. China says they respect other countries and do not want to militarize the South Sea. Leave it at that. Any disrespect toward other countries is not at the behest of Xijinping. Any militarization of […]