The events of the last few days in Australia deserve serious analysis, but it's hard not to be sidetracked by it all. The financial press in particular has gone absolutely crazy, attracted not so much by the theater as the smell of cash. That's one area where a corrective is required.
Australia's Indian population is around 400,000. Around 16,000 gathered to hear the Indian PM speak to the local Indian population. This shot is part of the 5,000 or so who gathered outside the stadium, they could not fit in.
I wondered how Mr Modi's visit would be covered in India. Quite well, if these stories are any guide - here, here, here.Perhaps Ramana can give us a guide from an Indian perspective.
One of the interesting but complicated things to my mind was just how Australia fits in strategic terms to the geopolitical issues surrounding the G20 and the associated summits.
I am not sure that I can put this clearly, but just at present the country seems to be in a useful but very complicated sweet spot. Not big enough to be a military threat to anyone, but big enough to be a potentially useful ally in a remarkably complex Asia-Pacific strategic mix.
I said the strategic mix was complex. It really is,
We have to balance the US and China. Japan and Korea are major trading partners with their own strategic concerns. India has its own complicated relations with China. Indonesia and ASEAN are critical to Australia's immediate interests.
I will write up some of my thoughts on key issues, if only to clarify my thinking. For the moment, it's just interesting watching developments and trying to work out how the bits might fit together,
In this post I said:
I am not sure that I can put this clearly, but just at present the country seems to be in a useful but very complicated sweet spot. Not big enough to be a military threat to anyone, but big enough to be a potentially useful ally in a remarkably complex Asia-Pacific strategic mix.Today's Australian Financial Review mirrors this point.
- Rory Metcalf (Lowy Institute): For better or worse, the region has finally found us
- Editorial: Australia takes on a new standing
- Kerry Brown (Professor, University of Sydney): Hard objectives come wrapped up in flattery