Australasia & the Pacific

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Snapshot,
Joseph Chinyong Liow

The siege in Australia serves as a reminder that even the strictest and most comprehensive antiterrorism laws cannot immunize a society from risk. That lesson is all the more salient for Southeast Asian countries, which have experienced since 2000 several high-profile terrorist attacks in public places.

Essay, Jul 1969
Bruce Grant

AUSTRALIA'S decision to keep forces in Malaysia and Singapore after Britain leaves in 1971 was taken in an election year, after the most searching public debate on defense and foreign policy in Australia's history and after a substantial official review. It represents, therefore, one country's practical assessment of Southeast Asia "after Viet Nam." In this sense, the decision may have significance outside Australia, for the light it throws on the development of Australian thinking, for the contribution it is intended to make to the security of the immediate subregional neighborhood and for the assumptions it appears to make about the broader question of stability in Asia, especially the role of the United States.

Essay, Apr 1966
Donald Horne

Not long after I returned to Sydney in 1954, I met a friend I had not seen for five years. After a meagre offering of cordialities, he said: "How long do you give us? I give us three years." When I asked him what he was talking about he said that he expected that China would conquer Southeast Asia by 1957 and that Australia would become a Chinese dependency shortly after. He speculated for a while about who the members of Australia's first Quisling government would be. . . .

Essay, Oct 1965
Shane Paltridge

Australia, an island continent of about three million square miles, inhabited by eleven million people of predominantly West European descent, lies on the southern perimeter of Southeast Asia, which is heavily populated by peoples of diverse racial origins with traditions, cultures and political and economic outlooks differing radically both among themselves and from Australia's.

Essay, Oct 1964
Paul Hasluck

Australia, the sixth continent, lay outside world affairs until settled by Europeans. The 300,000 aborigines, who were its only inhabitants until the end of the eighteenth century, were untouched by the outside world except for infrequent visits by Malays and possibly Chinese to a few points on the northern coastline, and these had no knowledge of or interest in world affairs. But modern Australia is neither isolated nor isolationist. Australians have fought overseas in five wars in the last century, have known hostile bombs on their own soil and at present have a substantial proportion of their armed services on duty in other lands. By its origin in six British colonies, modern Australia was linked to world power contests; by its growth it has become part of them, and today we cannot read our national future except in the language of world politics.

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