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Author Topic: Essay for politics class  (Read 5183 times)
Platypus
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« on: September 20, 2005, 09:05:35 pm »
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I'm writing an essay on the topic

'"Australian Foreign Policy has become too pre-occupied with Asia. This has been to the detriment of our other international interests and onligations." To what extent do you agree with this statement?'

I've written a plan, and the start of the essay, but I was hoping for some further contribution. I know most of you don't know much about Australian foreign policy (:p) but hopefully you'll be able to help. Here's the plan:

1. What is Foreign policy?
 -Policy devised and implemented by the government to further Australia's national interest and influence our relations with other nations and groups
 -Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade

2. Australia's Asian relations (1)
 -Fear of 'Yellow Hordes", "White Australia Policy", "Two Wongs don't make a white"
 -Immigration-Gold Rush, Vietnam
 -Recognition of the PRC, Whitlam
 -Fraser returned to Europe and US focus, but not important in FP generally
 -Hawke and Keating, ASEAN, Indonesia, Mahatir

3. Australia's Asian relations (2)
 -Howard years
    -Asian Economic Crisis, aid to Thailand and Indonesia
    -East Timor
    -Engagement with ASEAN
      -Mahartir's vendetta
    -"Deputy Sherriff" to US in Asia-Pacific
    -Closer ties with Japan, in part via USA
    -Closer economic links with PRC
      -rock and hard place if US/PRC tensions boil over
    -FTAs with Thailand, Singapore

4. Other key relationships
-USA
  -ANZUS
  -UKUSA
  -Howard/Bush relationship
  -War on Terror
   -Involvement in Afghanistan
   -Involvement in Iraq
-Europe
 -UK
  -Howard/Blair relationship
  -'mother country'
 -Europe becoming less and less important, especially the   continent, in both world and Australian eyes
-NZ and the Pacific
 -Intervention in the Solomon Islands
 -Papua New Guinea aid and support
 -Howard/Clark relationship
 -CER reforms

5. International obligations
-Multinational bodies
 -UN
 -APEC
 -alliances, UKUSA and ANZUS
 -Commonwealth
-Humanitarian aid
 -Africa?
 -Tsunami
   -$2 billion to Indonesia
 -Extreme majority of aid goes to Asia/Pacific
  -Papua New Guinea
   -Receives 1/3 of Australian aid
-Member of 'global community'

6. What is Australia's National Interest?
-Middle power
 -Superpower within the Pacific
-Want/need free trade with other nations
 -Reflected in bipartisan support for this concept
-Democratic and stable governance within region and world
-Security
 -Economic
 -Terrorism
  -"Failed States"
   -Solomons, PNG
   -Howard doctrine

7. Is it being fulfilled?
-Best fulfilled through engagement with region
-Out of region concerns
 -Afghanistand and Iraq, War on terror
 -Alliance with US at it's tightest
  -FTA
-Australia respected but relatively unimportant in international circles
 -More crucial role within Asia/Pacific
-Domestic policy may harm FP
 -Immigration

Conclusion
-Whilst Asia should be our core focus in FP, we should not forget other relationships
-Excepting USA, relations with non-Asian nations far less important now then in the past
-Obligations met, but again with an Asia/Pacific focus


I'll post what i've written so far below.
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Platypus
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2005, 09:18:16 pm »
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Australian Foreign Policy features a strong consideration of our geographical and cultural place in the world, and within this, Asia is an important factor in the developement of foreign policy by the Australian Government. This has developed over time in accordance with the changing perception of our national interests, and worldwide factors such as globalisation. However, there are other concerns within Australian foreign policy, such as meeting international obligations and import relationships within the Pacific and the world.

Foreign policy is devised and carried out by the government to further Australia's national interests in economic, cultural and security areas, and influence Australia's relations with other nations and groups. It is implemented both by the government in parliament, and by bureaucratic bodies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). It can be influenced by domestic concerns and policy, and is becoming a key concern in the modern era of globalisation in a post-Cold War environment that now involves the "War on Terror (WoT)".

Australia's current attitudes to Asia are very different to many historical viewpoints. From federation, Australia was a racist and fearful nation, implementing hte "White Australia Policy" in fear of the "Yellow Hordes" to our north. There have been waves of Asian immigration , however, such as the colonial Gold Rushes, and Vietnam refugee intakes and immigration from South and East Asia is now at high levels-especially compared to 1901, or the post-World War Two era when 'Two Wongs don't make a white" was the view of Australian politicians. The 1970s 'opened up' Asia for Australia, with Whitlam recognising the People's Republic of China, the creation of the Columbo Plan, and further trade and cultural links fostered by both Whitlam and Fraser. This continued into the 1980s and 1990s under Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, especially the latter, who was firmly in favour of the creatuion of ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations, and develped strong ties with Indonesia under Suharto.

That's all I have so far.
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Platypus
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2005, 12:49:39 am »
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help?
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WMS
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2005, 05:28:31 pm »
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help?
Sorry, no help. But I did read it with interest and am looking forward to the rest of it. Cheesy
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Platypus
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2005, 03:35:14 am »
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Howard started governing in 1996 with a promise to "Brick Back Balance to Foreign Policy", returning focus to the USA and Europe. However, events in the region made this impossible. The 1997 Asian Economic Crisis led to Australia offering $2 billion in credit to stabilise the economies in Indonesia and Thailand. During this period, Suharto was deposed as Indonesia started its process of democratisation. Relations continued to be favourable, until East Timor voted for independence, and Australian and Thai forces lead the INTERFET operations.

In 1999, Australia was named America's 'Deputy Sheriff', a title Howard initially embraced but later refuted. Asian nations, particularly Malaysia under Mahartir, were deeply offended by this ad Australia's attempts to enter ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). Still, Australia remains an important part of the US policy towards the Asia-Pacific. In part due to the closeness both nations have with the USA, and also because of the significant economic and cultural links between the two nations, the relationship between Japan and Australia has become closer since 1996. Australia has also developed strong links with the People's Republic of China, and has taken a very strong position to be boosted by growth in the Chinese economy, through provision of natural, business and intellectual resources. However, this puts Australia in a difficult position if relations between the People's Republic and the US and Japan become negative, especially once China becomes the most prominent trading partner for Australia, within the next 15 years. Despite wishing to turn away from Asia when he came to office, Howard has embraced it, especially in economics, signing Free Trade Agreements with Thailand and Singapore, and working towards doing the same with the People's Republic, South Korea and Japan.

Other key relationships have been affected by this focus. Europe, once the primary concern of Australians, is almost non-existent in Australian Foreign Policy discussions; especially the continent. The United Kingdom does still hold some significance, as the 'Mother Country", and also because of Tony Blair's involvement in the Iraq war, along with Howard. Howard and Blair have a relationship tat involves 'lots of the good bits and none of the bad bits'. They share many common views, but differ wildly in other areas, mostly relating to domestic policies, not a major concern in foreign policy. Continental Europe plays no role in Australian Foreign Policy; it is not a source of significant trade although cultural links with nations such as Italy and Greece remain important. The major concern of Australia with regards to Europe is the Common Agricultural Policy, which is seen to be extremely unfair to the members of the Cairns Group, which Australia leads.

The other key relationships of Australia are those with the United States of America, New Zealand and the Pacific. Australia's relationship with the USA started in the Second World War, and was formalised by the ANZUS and UKUSA agreements. The ANZUS alliance, originally between Australia, New Zealand and the United States, is Australia's most important military agreement, and the UKUSA agreement, in which Australia is a privileged second-tier partner, is also important. These alliances have lead to Australian involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq after Howard stated whilst in Washington immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that Australia would be invoking the ANZUS alliance in defence of the United States. Australia has also considered the Pacific more in the Howard era then previously, with the creation of the "Howard Doctrine" of support and stabilisation in the Pacific. This has lead to Australian intervention in the Solomon Islands, bringing peace to what was one of the most dangerous countries on earth, and significant aid to Papua New Guinea. Australia also remains close to New Zealand, although Prime Ministers Clark and Howard are not the closest of friends. The "Closer Economic Relationship" agreements of the 1980s are being reformed and trade is increasing steadily.

Australia's relationship with International Organisations has also been affected by its engagement with Asia. Australia is committed to APEC, and is attempting to gain full member status of ASEAN. It no longer pays much consideration to the United Nations however, although this was the organisation of primary interest to Gareth Evans and the the Hawke and Keating governments. Australia is also a leading member of the Commonwealth of Nations, and has obligations with its alliances and pacts such as ANZUS, UKUSA and the Colombo Plan.

As a wealthy member of the International Community, many people feel Australia is obliged to give poorer nations aid, and Australia is generally generous with this. Critics point to low figures of Australian aid in the poorest continent, Africa, but that is because most Australian aid goes to the Asia-Pacific region-1/3 to Papua New Guinea, and millions more to the Solomons, other Pacific Islands, Indonesia, Cambodia and East Timor. Australia also gave over $2 billion to Indonesia following the Boxing Day Tsunami, and contributes significant resources to fighting terrorism in the region.

Some of this aid is used to further Australian National Interest. Australia is a 'middle power' in the world, but a 'superpower' within the Pacific. It wants democratic and stable governance within the region, but is unable to do this with sheer force (or threat of force), so must use diplomatic means, such as aid, to further its aims. Australia desires security within the Asia-Pacific region, especially when relating to economic interests and terrorism; and does not want 'failed states' on the doorstep-Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, East Timor-leading back to the Howard Doctrine of support and stabilisation within the region. Australia, as a growing economy with specific products, wants free trade and needs it for economic expansion, especially into Asia. Most of these concepts have bipartisan support, and the support of the general community.

Australia's National Interests are best fulfilled by engagement with the region, although there have been significant engagements outside the region, such as military assistance in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the War On Terror, and the alliance with the USA is at it's tightest; leading to the USFTA of 2004. Australia is seen as a respected but relatively unimportant member of the global community, except in the Asia Pacific where it can have some dominance; both as the 'deputy sheriff' and as the leading economy of the Pacific and Southeast Asia's most westernised nation.

Whilst Asia must be our core focus in formulation and implementation of foreign policy, it is important that we don't forget relationships with the rest of the world. Excepting the USA and the USA, Australia has very little to do with the world outside the Asia-Pacific, and this is reflected in trade, humanitarian aid, and political concerns. As the region is our primary concerns, other concerns will suffer, but as long as Australia doesn't ignore its other relationships and obligations altogether, the focus on Asia and the Pacific is both appropriate and necessary.
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Platypus
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2005, 03:37:17 am »
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ok, so it's not great and I waffle a bit, but any ideas for improvements?
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2005, 01:59:01 pm »
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ok, so it's not great and I waffle a bit, but any ideas for improvements?
You might want to fix 'Excepting the USA and the USA'. Tongue

I'm looking from the outside here but...is one reason for the strong alliance with the USA due to:
1 - the potential threat from highly-populated Indonesia
and
2 - the fact that Australia is kind of lightly-populated
so
3 - alliance with a even stronger outside-power is nice to have?
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Platypus
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2005, 04:29:43 pm »
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ok, so it's not great and I waffle a bit, but any ideas for improvements?
You might want to fix 'Excepting the USA and the USA'. Tongue

Indeed :p
Quote
I'm looking from the outside here but...is one reason for the strong alliance with the USA due to:
1 - the potential threat from highly-populated Indonesia
and
not so much nowdays, but AUstralia historically had a fear of the 'yellow hordes' to our north
Quote
2 - the fact that Australia is kind of lightly-populated
so
yeah, and it's hard to have a significant army
Quote
3 - alliance with a even stronger outside-power is nice to have?
indeed. Australia has always had a "Big and Powerful Friend"; The UK until WW2 and the USA afterwards.
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Beet
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2005, 05:23:14 pm »

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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2005, 08:22:41 pm »
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Hughento, why do you expect that we Australiaphobes would know anything more than you do?  You can't even shut up about the damn country.  ;)
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Platypus
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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2005, 04:56:15 am »
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it's all about the way it's written. Plus there'd be things i'd've overlooked, probably.

Factor-I think I know EXACTLY where that photo was taken; if not, then at least the suburb-South Melbourne.
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WMS
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2005, 03:28:17 am »
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not so much nowdays, but AUstralia historically had a fear of the 'yellow hordes' to our north

Yellow, red, white, black, whatever. That level of population imbalance would frighten anyone on the low side of the scale. Smiley

Quote
yeah, and it's hard to have a significant army

Quality, not quantity! Cheesy

Quote
indeed. Australia has always had a "Big and Powerful Friend"; The UK until WW2 and the USA afterwards.

Which mirrored the worldwide shift from the UK to the USA as the world hegemon - the UK has clearly passed the torch to the USA. Wink
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The political class has demonized the working class because the political class no longer represents the working class.  Neither Republicans or Democrats.
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Platypus
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2005, 06:16:52 am »
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Well, there was the British century, until 1918; we're now in the American century, and it's really only a matter of time until we enter the Indian and Chinese millenium :S
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Platypus
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2005, 03:07:22 am »
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i got 36/40 Sad
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WMS
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2005, 02:26:55 pm »
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Well, there was the British century, until 1918; we're now in the American century, and it's really only a matter of time until we enter the Indian and Chinese millenium :S

Assuming they hold together. ^_^

i got 36/40 Sad
Awww... Sad
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The political class has demonized the working class because the political class no longer represents the working class.  Neither Republicans or Democrats.
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JohnFKennedy
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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2005, 02:40:05 pm »
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i got 36/40 Sad

Same mark as me for mine haha. I was top of class heh. Apparently at the moment we should be averaging a thirty as only just started the course Cheesy.
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Jake
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« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2005, 11:44:29 pm »
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i got 36/40 Sad

Good job, I think Tongue
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Platypus
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« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2005, 11:51:48 pm »
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i got 36/40 Sad

Same mark as me for mine haha. I was top of class heh. Apparently at the moment we should be averaging a thirty as only just started the course Cheesy.

unfortunaetely, we're just ending the course. i lost two marks for terminology, and I needed more examples etc.

I write much better then I type though, so if this was handwritten, maybe 38.
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