Australia on the World Stage

 

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I don't often get a chance to discuss Australia, an important but often overlooked (from the American perspective) continent-sized country that serves as America's greatest ally in the Asia-Pacific region. As an alternative to an article I cited in the forum early in 2015, here is an Australian perspective.  The Executive Director of the Lowy Insitute (an Australian think tank), Michael Fullilove, gave a series of lectures based on his book A Larger Australia which attempt to address the question of how Australia's foreign policy should adapt itself to the changes sweeping over the world.  The audio and transcripts for the lectures are available online courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  I would like to highlight several exerpts from the lecture series, which can serve as an important template for examining Australia's role in the world.

The World Of Chinese ‘Copy-Culture’

Watching this, one is reminded that the copy culture in China (extending from copying paintings to intellectual property) injures not only foreigners, but the Chinese people themselves.  To quote the gallery owners towards the end of the film, "China's made a great living from copying the Western world, but now Chinese copy [themselves], so every time the artist makes something, or creates something, somebody will copy him, and you will have one artist who will create a great new style, and tomorrow it will be in 700 galleries for a dollar cheaper than the original artist would sell his own painting…. The copy culture of China is now affecting the Chinese people, where before the Chinese people may not have ever realized what the damage of copying other people's creations caused those other people.  When a billion people are trying to survive, they probably don't put too much thought into the damage of copying someone, but now the artists here are really finding the pain that's inflicted by copying someone's design."

Turkey’s Foreign Policy

As I am posting this from a mobile phone, apologies for the unpolished nature of this post.  I would like to articulate some thoughts I have had about Turkey’s foreign policy to try to explain its seemingly insane decision to shoot down a Russian jet which had marginally violated its airspace for 17 seconds.