2 September 2016

Each fortnight on the Policy File we round-up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This week we look at Australia’s plan for a new foreign policy White Paper, the crisis in Kashmir, and the failings of international order.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced Australia will develop a new foreign policy White Paper, its first since 2003. On Policy Forum Pod, Michael Wesley takes a look at what has changed in foreign affairs over the last 13 years, and what issues the new White Paper should seek to prioritise. Alan Tidwell argues that a White Paper will do little to improve Australia’s foreign policy unless it is matched by better decisions from political leaders.

One of the biggest challenges Australian leaders will increasingly have to confront is how it manages its relationship with a rising China. At the Washington Post, David Ignatius takes a look at Australia’s split personality when it comes to China. At the Sydney Morning Herald, Heath Aston reports on former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating’s comments that Australia currently lacks a foreign policy to negotiate China’s rise.

China’s growing assertiveness is an issue that all countries in the region must deal with, but none more so than those affected by the South China Sea dispute. Allison Witter describes how crucial shared fisheries resources in the South China Sea are at risk from poor cooperation between claimant nations. Bharat Karnad analyses China’s strategy in the South China Sea and proposes a regional military solution to shift the balance of power towards Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, Abhijit Singh wonders if China is preparing to reclaim Scarborough Shoal soon after the G20.

The killing of a young tech-savvy militant in Kashmir last month has sparked an upsurge of violence in the region. At Al Jazeera, Elizabeth Puranam takes a look at the clashes between protesters and security forces that have killed dozens and injured at least 8,500 people. On Policy Forum, Christopher Snedden examines the history behind India and Pakistan’s territorial dispute, while Maria Syed argues that only a plebiscite allowing Kashmiris to decide their own future will defuse tensions.

In the run-up to the 71st United Nations General Assembly next month, Camilla Burkot at DevPolicy Blog questions why the UN has failed to live up to its values over the last few years. At The National Interest, Patrick Porter argues that contrary to most foreign affairs debates, there is no ‘rules-based’ international order.

Want more for your weekend? You can catch up with our Policy Forum podcast series via iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud. If you like what you hear, please give us a review on iTunes and help us get the word out.

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