Friday, February 08, 2008

Australia returning to Asia?

New Australian PM Kevin Rudd is a welcome change. From BBC:
The last asylum seekers have left Australia's detention camp on Nauru, putting an end to the controversial "Pacific Solution" immigration policy.

Maybe Australia will now really begin to think again about what it means to be part of Asia---not in terms of meetings with the leaders of different countries and fanciful talk of some sort of grand democracy alliance (with India and Japan), but as just another country in the region.

Australia is a white settler country, like the U.S. or Canada (though arguably with a stronger indigenous movement), and it is a continent in its own right. But it is also an increasingly diverse society and is tied to the same issues affecting Indonesia, Vietnam, China...

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