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Australia in the World Podcast Ep. 22: Hong Kong protests; Shangri-La Dialogue; US-Iran tensions

02 Jul 2019
By Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA and Dr Darren Lim
Enormous crowds make up the Hong Kong Protests. Source: Wikimedia Commons

In this episode, Allan and Darren discuss the enormous protests in Hong Kong against a proposed extradition law, the relevance of the Shangri-La dialogue to watchers of Australian foreign policy and whether the United States needs an “off-ramp” in the crisis with Iran.

Allan and Darren commence this episode by discussing the enormous protests in Hong Kong against a proposed extradition law. How has Australia viewed Hong Kong’s trajectory prior to and following its handover to the PRC in 1997, and up to the present? Is it surprising that the Hong Kong government backed down, and what do these events tell us about Hong Kong’s future? Do other governments, including Australia’s, have any capacity to shape what will happen?

The Shangri-La dialogue is next on the agenda. Allan begins by explaining what it is and why it is relevant to watchers of Australian foreign policy. Then, the major theme of this year’s dialogue–growing anxiety at US-China competition–is covered through the lens of the opening address by the host, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. To what extent do Lee’s remarks accurately diagnose the problem, and reflect the mood of the region?

Finally, as tensions escalate between the United States and Iran, Darren asks Allan for an Australian perspective, and they both wonder whether the mercurial Trump needs a traditional “off-ramp” to get the United States out of this crisis.

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 AIIA intern Charlie Henshall for his help with audio editing, and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Tyler Cowen. “What Hong Kong’s Freedom Means to the World”, Bloomberg:

Marise Payne, “Statement on protests in Hong Kong”:

Milia Hau, “Britain failed Hong Kong”, Foreign Policy:

Lee Hsien Loong’s opening address to the 2019 Shangri-La Dialogue:

Florence Parly, “Speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue”: