Lawyers, media organisations, human rights NGOs, and unions have been lining up recently to warn us of a serious threat facing civil liberties in Australia. It comes in the form of Malcolm Turnbull’s new national security laws, which, in the name of combating foreign influence, would criminalise anyone who simply ‘receives ...... (read more)
David Brophy reviews 'Without America: Australia in the New Asia' (Quarterly Essay 68) by Hugh White
For upward of a decade, Hugh White has been sounding a warning: that Australia’s long-standing policy of relying on the United States as guarantor of our security in Asia was approaching its use-by date. As a conspicuous relic of European colonial expansion, Australia has always viewed with trepidation the ...... (read more)
Andres Rodriguez reviews 'Out of China: How the Chinese ended the era of Western domination' by Robert Bickers
Anger and indignation seem to dominate headlines around the world these days. Angry citizens are found in every corner rallying against social injustice and global warming. Angry politicians in the West call for new walls, impervious to the plight of refugees and threatening a new round of trade wars. In stark contrast, China’s ...... (read more)
In his searching introduction to this immense volume, the editor, Harvard scholar David Der-Wei Wang, refers to the ‘architectonics of temporalities’ by which the project re-maps and re-chronicles Chinese literary history. A New Literary History of Modern China follows the model of the provocatively kaleidoscopic slice ...... (read more)
In 1989, as the Chinese Communist Party came to terms with the ongoing significance of religion in post-Mao China, they needed a new formula to explain its survival. Religion was, they said, a long-term phenomenon. It had a mass base; it had national dimensions, in that some of China’s nationalities identified strongly with ...... (read more)
For countries, and none so important to Australia, have a political system as opaque as that of China. This is deliberate; since the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has striven to make turnovers in its leadership as bland as possible. But the elevation of the country’s current ‘Fifth Generation’ Leadership was actually fu ...