Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

A lost opportunity on Asia

By Julie Bishop - posted Thursday, 1 November 2012

Economic growth in Asia will continue to play an important role in Australia's future prosperity in terms of trade but also in the strategic military balances of our region.

Rising economic power is invariably accompanied by rising military power and is resulting in increased tensions in the East China Sea and South China Sea, for example.

Growing economic and military might in Asia comes at a time of economic downturns in Europe and the United States.


Given the significance of these issues for our country, many people had high expectations for the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, hoping it would provide an in-depth analysis of the opportunities and the challenges likely to arise in the region, with new insights and thinking on how Australia could respond.

The White Paper released by the Prime Minister last Sunday does contain a series of laudable goals.

These include the aim of improving the international rankings of our universities, lifting educational standards in our schools and increasing the numbers of Australian students studying an Asian second language.

There is also an aspiration to establish more embassies to enhance our diplomatic presence across Asia.

These are worthy aspirations.

There is no doubt that the authors of the White Paper have gathered a significant amount of data and forecasts on long-term economic trends which makes it a useful reference.


However the White Paper was a disappointment because there is a yawning chasm between the espoused aspirations and the policy and funding framework necessary to achieve them.

There was no funding commitment for any new initiatives, and the Government's recent mid-year Budget update slashed spending on education, research and innovation.

Asian language programs have been cut.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

5 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Julie Bishop is the Federal Member for Curtin, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Julie Bishop

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Julie Bishop
Article Tools
Comment 5 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy