August 21, 2019

Ep. 26: AUSMIN; Hastie op-ed; HK protests in Australia; Pacific Islands Forum

In a full episode, Allan and Darren return to the perennial topics of Australian foreign policy—our relationships with the United States and China, with events of recent weeks offering yet another illustration of how complex and challenging these relations are. As a result of the US Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense visiting Sydney for AUSMIN in early August, Australia was asked to contribute to (another) military operation in the Middle East, a very controversial proposal for stationing US missiles in Australia was floated, and China came in for much American criticism. Was this Australia being “squeezed” by Washington, and how did the government handle it? Australia’s bilateral relationship with China is also making headlines, in particular because of Andrew Hastie MP’s op-ed in which he invoked a controversial analogy involving Germany and the Maginot Line. Meanwhile, duelling protests are being carried out on Australian soil regarding Hong Kong. Allan and Darren grapple with these questions, and finish the episode by covering PM Scott Morrison’s trip to Tuvalu for the Pacific Islands Forum, which did not go as he would have hoped with climate change being the major fault line between Australia and its South Pacific family.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

Our thanks go to new AIIA intern James Hayne for his help research and audio editing and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

“Joint Statement Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) 2019”, Media Release, 4 August 2019:

Andrew Hastie, “We must see China - the opportunities and the threats - with clear eyes”, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 August 2019:

Simon Birmingham, “Interview on ABC insiders”, 11 August 2019, transcript:

Kate Lyons, “Fiji PM accuses Scott Morrison of ‘insulting’ and alienating Pacific leaders” The Guardian, 17 August 2019:

Chernobyl, HBO series:

The Golden Compass / Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, Goodreads page:

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