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Tony Burke

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Australia will take 500 refugees from Syria


The Coalition government will set aside 500 places for Syrian refugees in response to an appeal from the United Nations Refugee agency for help accommodating the displaced Syrians. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday that “a further 500” Syrian refugees will be settled in Australia in 2013-14. The places will come from within the … Continue reading

Australian government stops flow of information about asylum seekers


The Australian Coalition government has shut down the flow of information on the arrival of asylum vessels and the transfer of people offshore under the military-led Operation Sovereign Borders. Despite seizing on public information to attack the Labor government for every unauthorised vessel intercepted over the last six years, newly sworn-in Immigration Minister Scott Morrison … Continue reading

Australian opposition plans to relegate asylum seekers to military, keep numbers secret


Australians may never know how many asylum-seeker boats arrive under a Coalition government, with opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison refusing to release details about boat arrivals without the approval of a three-star general. The Coalition has previously said it would appoint a three-star military officer to command a joint taskforce, which will include some 12 … Continue reading

Papua New Guinea suspends asylum talks with Australia


Papua New Guinea has suspended discussions with Australia on the resettlement of refugees, as its most senior immigration official warned that serious breaches of the asylum-seeker undertakings could “jeopardise implementation” of Kevin Rudd‘s offshore solution. There are now no discussions between the Australian and PNG governments about the resettlement of refugees on Manus Island. The … Continue reading

Iran, Pakistan, Thailand snub human trafficking conference in Jakarta; Australia well represented


Iran, the largest source of boat people landing in Australia this year, has boycotted today’s special regional conference on asylum-seekers and human trafficking. The Iranians’ failure to appear casts further doubt on the capacity of the ministerial conference to agree on coordinated “concrete measures” for curbing asylum-seeker flows across the region. Pakistan, another major source … Continue reading

Australia ignores teenaged refugees in Indonesia until adulthood


Teenage refugees joining the so-called queue in Indonesia to apply officially for protection visas, instead of jumping on a boat, say they are being told Australia will not take them until they are 18 years old. The boys, who are stuck in limbo in Jakarta, said that even though they have been determined to be … Continue reading

Australia in breach of international human rights laws over Manus Island asylum seekers


The international refugee agency says it is ”deeply concerned” for the asylum seekers Australia sends to Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island detention centre. In its second report on the conditions on the island centre, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says PNG is in breach of international human rights laws by detaining the asylum … Continue reading

Australia fails on Great Barrier Reef


Australia hasn’t done enough to stop UNESCO listing the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’, a new report by conservationists says. The World Heritage Committee will meet in Cambodia this week to consider a draft decision to place the reef on its ‘danger list’ in 2014 unless the Queensland and federal governments clean up their … Continue reading

Dolphins are victims of Australia’s most environmentally controversial project at Gladstone


Australia’s most environmentally controversial project, the $33 billion expansion of Gladstone port in Queensland, is under investigation after being accused of breaching strict federal government audit conditions on harbour dredging and dumping of spoils in a World Heritage area. Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke confirmed a review was under way into whether the project had … Continue reading

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd back on television


Cabinet Minister Tony Burke was unceremoniously dumped from Seven’s Sunrise program by email yesterday afternoon to make way for Kevin Rudd’s return to the show that made him a political star. Mr Rudd faced off against his old sparring partner Joe Hockey on Sunrise this morning after agreeing early last month to resume duties with … 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 […]