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Australia In the World: Episode 49

15 Jun 2020
By Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA and Dr Darren Lim
Anti-Racism Protest in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. 6 June 2020. This protest was in support of Black Lives Matter and associated protests in the United States following the killing of George Floyd - but also highlighted parallel issues within Australia such as the deaths of Australia's aboriginal people while in police custody. Source: Andrew Mercer

US turmoil; India CSP; G-7; WHO lessons; HK; Australian geoeconomics.

After a month away from the news, this episode Allan and Darren try to catch up. They begin with tragedy and turmoil in the United States. What do the protests and racial tensions—and Trump’s efforts to handle them—say about the US? Are there any implications for Australia? Turning next to recent events in Australian foreign policy, we now have a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with India—is this significant? And what should PM Morrison do about President Trump’s invitation to the (delayed) G-7 summit in September?

Next, while noting the story is not over, Darren asks Allan for what lessons he draws from the Australian government’s call for an independent inquiry into the early handling of Covid-19, and everything followed, culminating in the World Health Assembly resolution in mid-May. Hong Kong is next on the agenda, with a focus on the logic behind Australia’s decision to issue two joint statements criticising Beijing’s recent moves, rather than going it alone, as New Zealand did.

Finally, geoeconomic issues are very much back in Australian news, with proposed new foreign investment review powers for the government, a travel warning issued for Australia by the Chinese government, and reporting that the Five Eyes grouping is considering a coordinated strategic economic response to the Covid-19 crisis. What do Allan and Darren make of all this?

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

We thank AIIA intern Maddie Gordon for her help with research and audio editing, XC Chong for research support, and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Ezra Klein show podcast:

Joint Statement on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Republic of India and Australia, 4 June 2020:

World Health Organization, “Covid-19 Response”, 73rd World Health Assembly, Agenda Item 3, 18 May 2020:

Editorial Board, “The Coronavirus Inquiry”, Wall Street Journal, 19 May 2020:

Chen Qingqing and Liu Xin, “Australia gets ‘slap to the face’ as global community welcomes China-sponsored resolution on COVID-19”, Global Times, 19 May 2020:

Stephen Dziedzic, “Australia started a fight with China over an investigation into COVID-19 — did it go too hard?” ABC News, 20 May 2020:

Joint statement on Hong Kong national security legislation, 23 May 2020:

Joint statement on Hong Kong, 28 May 2020:

The Little Red Podcast (Facebook page):

David Crowe, “Foreign deals set to face tougher security checks”, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 June 2020:

Max Koslowski, “Almost 400 anti-China attacks since pandemic began”, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 June 2020:

Simon Benson, “Five Eyes focus on economic pact”, The Australian, 8 June 2020:

National Security Podcast, Foreign Investment and national security with Jeff Wilson, 10 June 2020:

Wind of Change podcast:

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me:

Sarah Cooper’s twitter feed:

Martin Gurri, The Revolt of the public and the crisis of authority (Goodreads page):