How they see it - Australia's 'Asian Century' plan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 November, 2012, 3:36am


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1. The Sydney Morning Herald

Back in 1989, Professor Ross Garnaut handed Bob Hawke's government a far-sighted vision of Australia's future in Asia, one predicated on closer and deeper ties with north-eastern Asia. It was remarkably prescient and quite radical for its time. … Sadly, this generation of politicians barely stirs the flies, let alone the masses. The same goes for the latest report on Australia's future in Asia, which has some admirable goals, but lacks a pulse … the report is festooned with notions of forging "stronger", "deeper" or "broader" cultural and diplomatic relationships. … Becoming part of Asia is not an option; it has already happened. This report lacks ambition; it is describing the here and now. (Sydney)


2. China Daily

Given Asia's rising significance in the world's economic and security landscape, it is no surprise that the biggest country in the Southern Hemisphere seeks to benefit more from Asia's economic and social progress. … Given China's rising role in the region and its growing economic ties with Australia, it is also not surprising that China features prominently in the white paper, entitled Australia in the Asian Century. The new document reflects a more mature perspective toward China's development… saying Australia supports China's participation in the region's strategic, political and economic development. But Canberra needs to do more to translate the positive signals toward China in its new document into action. (Beijing)


3. Jakarta Globe

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made a definitive statement about Australia's ties with rising Asia. … Schools will teach Mandarin, Hindi and Japanese beside Bahasa Indonesia under a new strategy to increase Australia's engagement with Asia, and they will co-operate with schools in Asia to develop courses in the four priority languages as part of a 13-year plan to tap into the booming Asian economies. As Australia puts new focus on Asian languages, Indonesia too must ensure it stays connected with the region. We must develop and encourage the teaching of English in our schools as well as other key Asian languages. It is not a matter of fostering better cultural ties, but one of economic survival. (Jakarta)