James ONeill

The New Biden Administration Intent on Repeating US Mistakes

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When Joe Biden was elected United States president in November 2020, he promised a different approach to the foreign affairs policies pursued by his predecessor Donald Trump. Those promises were generally welcomed, although seasoned political watchers urged caution. The new President had a long history of involvement…

Australia’s China Relationship Facing New Challenges

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Some years ago the late Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew predicted that Australia would become “the poor white trash of Asia.” His words at the time shocked the Australian body politic and were fiercely denied. After all, Australia at the time was enjoying its largest trading boost with its Asian neighbours and nobody in the country could envisage…

The United States Needs to Adjust to 21st Century Realities

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If further evidence were ever needed that the United States lives in a bubble, sheltered from the realities of an ever-changing world, it is found in the latest document released by the NATO oriented United States think tank, the Atlantic Council. Released at the end of January 2021, the 86-page document is entitled  The Longer Telegram: Towards a New American China Strategy…

Davos 2021 Speeches by Putin and Xi Point to a Different Future

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The Davos Group of nations recently held its annual meeting electronically, the coronavirus preventing attendance in person for the first time. The United States was represented by John Kerry, one of many Democrats recycled from the Obama years. Russia was represented by its president, Vladimir Putin, and China, for…

Faith in a Biden Presidency Likely to be Misplaced

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The United States presents an unedifying sight at the moment as gleeful Democrats celebrate the second condemnation of Donald Trump, and the latter’s apparent concession of the United States’ presidential race to Joe Biden. It is difficult for the external observer to see what they have to be glad about. Certainly, the presidency of Donald Trump has not…

A Mistake to Expect Real Change From the Incoming Biden Administration

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One of the great illusions being fostered by the victorious Democratic Party in the United States is that with the removal from office of Donald Trump things will return to normal. This is an illusion fostered by the incoming President Joe Biden. It is an illusion for a number of reasons. The first illusion was that the United…

Australia-China Relations Set for a Long Period in the Wilderness

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China is, and has been for many years, Australia’s most important trading partner. Up to the end of 2019, China took nearly 40% of all of Australia’s exports. It is not a trading relationship that any sane country would really jeopardise. Yet that is precisely what the Australian government has been doing, and under the present political…

The World has Changed, but Do Not Expect the Incoming Biden Administration to Change Also

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One of the great pretences currently being played out to a gullible public is that it actually matters which of Biden or Trump actually won the recent United States presidential election. There is certainly a body of evidence that suggests that the election was less than squeaky clean, but has that been the case since at least when Bush…

Biden Will Find The World Has Changed Since He Last Held Power

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The incoming administration of United States president elect Joe Biden sends a clear signal to the world. Notwithstanding his rhetoric his list of appointments to key positions has a strongly 2008-2016 administration feel to it. The first lesson to be drawn from the Biden administration therefore is that one would be very unwise…

The New Biden Administration Remains an Enigma in Important Respects

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There is currently much speculation about whether or not the new Biden administration, confirmed by the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Texas move to challenge the result of the recent presidential election, will result in an improvement in relations with both Russia and China by the United States. In my view such speculation is misplaced…

Iran Rejects Continuous Provocations and Continues Along a New Path

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When one looks at a map of the Middle East, one of the features that immediately springs into view is that it shows Iran as the largest country in the region. Not only the physically largest, but also a country with the largest population. Looking at that map it is easy to imagine why Iran has been a dominant player in the world, and that part of the world…

Australia Faces New Challenges in its Relationship With China

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The relationship between Australia and China has deteriorated markedly over recent months. Each side is blaming the other for the deterioration, and amid the flurry of frankly anti-China propaganda emerging from most of the major Australian news outlets it is difficult to establish what went wrong and who precisely is to blame. It is possible however…


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