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Australia in the World

Updated 7 days ago

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News Commentary
Politics
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A discussion of the most important news and issues in international affairs through a uniquely Australian lens. Hosted by Allan Gyngell and Darren Lim.

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A discussion of the most important news and issues in international affairs through a uniquely Australian lens. Hosted by Allan Gyngell and Darren Lim.

iTunes Ratings

10 Ratings
Average Ratings
10
0
0
0
0

Highly recommended

By BennyLias - Mar 29 2020
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Brilliant insight and analysis. Non-biased, knowledgeable presenters with a knack of getting to the heart of an issue. Valuable resource for those interested in Australian foreign policy and related matters.

Excellent content

By omarsbashir - Jan 19 2019
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I listen from the United States to better understand the view from Canberra. I agree with a prior reviewer who says that Darren has a voice for podcasting.

iTunes Ratings

10 Ratings
Average Ratings
10
0
0
0
0

Highly recommended

By BennyLias - Mar 29 2020
Read more
Brilliant insight and analysis. Non-biased, knowledgeable presenters with a knack of getting to the heart of an issue. Valuable resource for those interested in Australian foreign policy and related matters.

Excellent content

By omarsbashir - Jan 19 2019
Read more
I listen from the United States to better understand the view from Canberra. I agree with a prior reviewer who says that Darren has a voice for podcasting.
Cover image of Australia in the World

Australia in the World

Latest release on May 13, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 7 days ago

Rank #1: Ep. 19: An incoming government brief: What will the election winner face in the new term?

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With the Australian federal election happening on Saturday 18 May, in this episode Allan and Darren follow the practice of all government departments in preparing an “incoming government brief”: a document presented to the new (or returning) minister for each department, for the purpose of providing a descriptive overview of what the department does, and highlighting the most important issues facing that particular portfolio as the new term commences.

Allan and Darren’s brief contains three “chapters”. Chapter 1 is on the structure of national security and foreign policy making, and the discussion turns on the best way of coordinating decision-making given the complex challenges faced in Australia’s international relations. Chapter 2 is on Donald Trump, where Allan and Darren largely agree on the impact of the Trump presidency on the world so far, but diverge slightly in their resulting degree of pessimism. Chapter 3 is on China, where the disagreement is more on the quality of Australia’s policy response to this most difficult set of policy dilemmas. Along the way, the two discuss recent events relating to Iran, the White House’s contrasting approaches to diplomacy, the second Belt and Road Forum and the US-China trade war.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com 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

“Morrison says 'no difference' with Bishop on China relationship”, SBS News: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/morrison-says-no-difference-with-bishop-on-china-relationship

Tyler Cowen, “How real news is worse than fake news”, Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-09-05/how-real-news-is-worse-than-fake-news

Adam Tooze, “Is this the end of the American century”, London Review of Books: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n07/adam-tooze/is-this-the-end-of-the-american-century

Tanner Greer, “The utterly dysfunctional Belt and Road”, Scholar’s Stage Blog: http://scholars-stage.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-utterly-dysfunctional-belt-and-road.html

Andrew Batson, “The Belt and Road is about domestic interest groups not development”: https://andrewbatson.com/2019/05/02/the-belt-and-road-is-about-domestic-interest-groups-not-development/

Nadege Rolland, “Beijing’s response to the Belt and Road Initiative’s ‘pushback’, Asian Affairs (currently free to access): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03068374.2019.1602385?scroll=top&needAccess=true&

May 15 2019

40mins

Play

Rank #2: Ep. 24: Director-General of ASIS in his first ever interview

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This episode we present an exclusive interview with Paul Symon AO, Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, ASIS. As Australia’s “top spook”, Paul is the only member of his organisation who can legally be identified. Indeed, the existence of ASIS was not publicly acknowledged until 1977 and not brought under formal legislation until 2001.

This is a great privilege for us because this is the first time Paul has ever given a public interview.

Bearing in mind “the inevitable paradox inherent in publicising the achievements of an organisation whose activities are, by design, secret”, Allan commences the interview by asking Paul to describe what ASIS does (in a general sense), why Australia needs it, and to describe some of its achievements. Paul then speaks to the vital question of how the Australian public can be confident that ASIS is acting in ways consistent with our law and values given it operates in secret. Other questions include how ASIS decides what information to collect, how it manages technology in the 21st century, how it conducts risk assessments, and its work with both the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Five Eyes Partnership. Darren asks a personal question about the intersection of publicly available information and secret information in the context of public policy debates. The discussion finishes on the topic of recruitment – how can Australians come to work for ASIS and what kind of people are sought?

Paul’s answers are fascinating and really offer remarkable insight into a unique (and normally very secretive) organisation.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com 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, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and Martyn Pearce for technical assistance in studio.

Relevant links

Paul Symon’s  biography: https://www.asis.gov.au/About-Us/Message-from-DG.html

ASIS homepage: https://www.asis.gov.au/

“The most interesting job in the world”: http://www.morehumanintelligence.com.au/

Jul 24 2019

49mins

Play

Rank #3: Ep. 32: The Australia-China Relationship

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On this week’s episode, Allan and Darren look to have a broader discussion about China, anchoring the conversation around Allan’s recent article in Australian Foreign Affairs, “History hasn’t ended: How to handle China”. On the larger and longer term questions surrounding the Australia-China relationship, Allan argues that Australia indeed has an effective but under-appreciated way of approaching China, to weigh up interests and values and use those interests and values as stakes in our relationship with the PRC: foreign policy. Attempting to avoid the risk of engaging in what Prime Minister Morrison would term “over-analysis”, Allan and Darren discuss whether China is “different” to other great powers, if commentators are “overexcited” when it comes to China and what, if anything, the Australian government needs to do differently. Recorded on 21 October 2019, Allan and Darren also continue their recent history of disagreements in a discussion about free speech, China and the National Basketball Association.

We invite our listeners to email us: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

We thank AIIA intern James Hayne for his help with research and audio editing, XC Chong for research assistance, and Martyn Pearce for technical support in studio. As always, we’re grateful to Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant Links

Allan Gyngell, “History hasn’t ended: How to handle China” in the October 2019 issue of Australian Foreign Affairs: https://www.australianforeignaffairs.com/essay/2019/10/china-dependence

Roland Rajah, Alexandre Dayant, Jonathan Pryke, “Ocean of debt? Belt and Road and debt diplomacy in the Pacific”, Lowy Institute Analysis, 21 October 2019: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/ocean-debt-belt-and-road-and-debt-diplomacy-pacific

Adam Gopnik, “A thousand small sanities”, publisher page: https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/adam-gopnik/a-thousand-small-sanities/9781541699366/

Yesterday (film), IMDB page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8079248/

Oct 22 2019

34mins

Play

Rank #4: Ep. 31: Debating PM Morrison’s Lowy Lecture

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Allan and Darren attempt their first “emergency” episode, recorded on Friday 4 October, the day after Prime Minister Morrison delivered the 2019 Lowy Lecture at the Sydney Town Hall. The conversation is structured around a commentary Allan wrote for the Lowy Interpreter that same day, in which he argues that the speech “marked a clear step away from the sort of Australian foreign policy articulated in the government’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper and towards the worldview of Trumpism and Brexit”. Darren, in contrast, found a lot more than Allan to like in the speech, and explains why he saw evidence of a clear theory of the political causes behind the crisis afflicting the rules-based order. This is probably the most significant disagreement Allan and Darren have had in the history of the podcast, which makes for a lively conversation!

We invite our listeners to email us at australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj 

We thank AIIA intern James Hayne for his help with research and audio editing and XC Chong for research assistance. As always, we’re grateful to Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Scott Morrison, “In our interest”, 2019 Lowy Lecture, Sydney Town Hall, 3 October 2019: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/speech-lowy-lecture-our-interest

Allan Gyngell, “Scott Morrison strikes an anxious and inward-looking tone”, Lowy Interpreter, 4 October 2019: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/scott-morrison-lowy-lecture

Scott Morrison, Speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 23 September 2019: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/chicago-council-global-affairs

Nick Bisley, “‘An ally for all the years to come’: why Australia is not a conflicted US ally”, Australian Journal of International Affairs 67(4) (2013): 403-418: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10357718.2013.803029

Tony Abbott, “Remarks at G20 Leaders’ Retreat”, Brisbane, 15 November 2014: https://pmtranscripts.pmc.gov.au/release/transcript-23959

Oct 04 2019

26mins

Play

Rank #5: Ep. 36: Ex-ASIO head Duncan Lewis (Part 2): foreign interference and national security policymaking in Australia

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In Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Duncan Lewis AO, DSC, CSC, the recently retired head of ASIO, the conversation turns to the more recent challenge of foreign interference. Duncan has been quoted recently as describing foreign interference as an “existential threat to the nation”, and so Allan begins by asking Duncan to explain how he thinks about foreign interference in Australian politics, and how he would describe its impact. Darren looks to draw some contrasts between how Australia manages the threat of terrorism and how it responds to foreign interference. What is the first line of defence against foreign interference? What are some of the dangers of overreacting to the threat?

The conversation then turns to the new national security and foreign interference laws passed in 2018. Are these laws fit for purpose? What is the balance between the government’s duty to protect, and the individual's right to privacy? What is Duncan’s view of calls for vetting of parliamentary candidates, and is the securitisation of public policy a necessary consequence of dealing with modern threats?

The conversation finishes with the structure of national security policymaking in Australia. Who is the “Minister for National Security”, and what principles should govern decision-making? Finally, what in Duncan’s view are the most important qualities of political leadership?

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

We want to thank AIIA intern Isabel Hancock for research and audio editing, XC Chong and James Hayne for research support, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music and also Julia Ahrens for technical support in studio. 

Dec 19 2019

50mins

Play

Rank #6: Ep. 21: Interview with Rebecca Skinner, Associate Secretary at Defence

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We are very excited to bring you a special interview this episode with Rebecca Skinner, Associate Secretary of Australia’s Department of Defence, and therefore one of the most senior women working on Australia’s national security. It is a wide-ranging conversation that covers topics including the nature of the Associate Secretary role, civil-military relationships inside the department, the never-ending question of reform, gender issues, and contrasts between private and public sector organisations. Allan and Darren also pose big picture questions on the disrupted strategic environment and how to better integrate Australia’s national security community. On the lighter side, the $400 ash tray from the TV show “The West Wing” and (perhaps) its Australian equivalent – a flute – also come up.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com 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, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and Martyn Pearce for technical assistance in setting up this episode.

Relevant links

Rebecca Skinner’s biography: http://defence.gov.au/leaders/MsRebeccaSkinner.asp

The West Wing: “Four hundred dollar ashtray”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R9kH_HOUXM

Jun 06 2019

40mins

Play

Rank #7: Ep. 34: All things China (again)! Defectors? Sleeper agents? MP visas & Hong Kong

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It is simply impossible to ignore China-related news stories in Australia this week, and so Allan and Darren do their best to grapple with the twin bombshell stories of a Chinese defector and asylum seeker, Wang “William” Liqiang, who claims to have information on the activities of Chinese intelligence, and a (now-deceased) individual, Nick Zhao, who reported to ASIO that he was approached to run for the Australian federal parliament. Along the way, a recent speech by former Prime Minister Paul Keating is brought into the conversation, as well as the denial of visas to two Australian parliamentarians to visit China. The episode finishes with an update on the situation in Hong Kong.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

We thank AIIA intern James Hayne for his help with research and audio editing, and XC Chong also for research assistance and audio editing. As always, we’re grateful to Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

60 Minutes, “Chinese spy spills secrets to expose Communist espionage”, 24 November 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdR-I35Ladk

Nick McKenzie, Paul Sakkal and Grace Tobin, “The moment a Chinese spy decided to defect to Australia”, The Age, 23 November 2019: https://www.theage.com.au/national/the-moment-a-chinese-spy-decided-to-defect-to-australia-20191122-p53d0x.html

“Chinese embassy says ‘self-proclaimed agent' Wang Liqiang is convicted fraudster”, ABC News, 24 November 2019: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-24/wang-liqiang-convicted-fraudster-says-chinese-embassy-canberra/11733102

Nick McKenzie, Paul Sakkal and Grace Tobin, “China tried to plant its candidate in Federal Parliament, authorities believe”, The Age, 24 November 2019: https://www.theage.com.au/national/china-tried-to-plant-its-candidate-in-federal-parliament-authorities-believe-20191122-p53d9x.html

“Statement from the Director-General of Security, Mike Burgess - response to reporting on foreign interference”, 24 November 2019: https://www.asio.gov.au/statement-director-general-security-mike-burgess-response-reporting-foreign-interference.html

Paul Keating, “Speech delivered at the Australian Strategic Forum”, 18 November 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/18/paul-keatings-speech-on-australias-china-policy-full-text

Dewey Sim, “Hong Kong protesters’ five demands meant to ‘humiliate’ government, won’t solve city’s issues: Singapore PM”, South China Morning Post, 17 October 2019: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3033279/hong-kong-protesters-five-demands-meant-humiliate-government

John Hawley, “Senator Hawley Delivers Floor Speech in Support of Hong Kong”, 23 October 2019: https://www.hawley.senate.gov/senator-hawley-delivers-floor-speech-support-hong-kong

Eryk Bagshaw, “Hong Kong's use of emergency law sparks warning from Payne”, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 October 2019: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/authorities-risk-inflaming-a-delicate-situation-in-hong-kong-20191006-p52y3g.html

Senator Marise Payne, “Statement on Hong Kong”, 14 November 2019: https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/media-release/statement-hong-kong

Scott Morrison, “Radio interview with Neil Mitchell – 3AW”, 22 November 2019: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/radio-interview-neil-mitchell-3aw-2

Anthony Galloway, “Marise Payne welcomes Hong Kong elections results”, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 Novembet 2019: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/marise-payne-welcomes-hong-kong-elections-results-20191128-p53exv.html

Mick Herron, Slough House Series (Goodreads page): https://www.goodreads.com/series/101326-slough-house

China Neican newsletter: https://neican.substack.com/p/welcome-to-china-neican

Nov 29 2019

45mins

Play

Rank #8: Ep. 37: The bushfires, internationally; the Soleimani killing; reviewing 2019, looking ahead to 2020

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In their first episode recorded in the new year, Allan and Darren begin with the news. First, they take an international perspective on the catastrophic Australian bushfires, which have become a truly global disaster. How will the bushfires affect Australia’s image and diplomacy abroad, and what about the government’s policy agenda on climate change? Could domestic politics swamp other aspects of Australia’s international agenda? Are there any silver linings from the generosity being shown by the international community? The conversation then turns to the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by the Trump administration and how Australia may be affected. Is there anything Australia can contribute to deescalating this crisis?

Continuing a practice begun last year, the second half of the podcast looks back at 2019. Allan and Darren each nominate their word of the year: for Allan it’s “sovereignty”, and for Darren it’s “decoupling”. Next, each identifies a notable trend from the past year. For Allan: the decline in the authority of international institutions; for Darren: emerging domestic political cleavages that are having international impacts. Finally, the conversation looks ahead to 2020, in particular how Canberra’s relationship with Beijing might evolve, and what's at stake in the upcoming US presidential election.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

Thanks to AIIA intern Isabel Hancock for research and audio editing, XC Chong for research support and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Editorial Board, “Australia, the hapless country”, East Asia Forum, 6 January 2020: https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2020/01/06/australia-the-hapless-country/

The Lawfare Podcast Special Edition, “Law and the Soleimani Strike”, 6 January 2020: https://www.lawfareblog.com/lawfare-podcast-special-edition-law-and-soleimani-strike

Pod Save the World, “Trump goes to war with Iran”, 3 January 2020: https://crooked.com/podcast/trump-goes-to-war-with-iran/

Salman Ahmed, et al, “U.S. Foreign Policy for the Middle Class: Perspectives From Ohio”, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 10 December 2018: https://carnegieendowment.org/2018/12/10/u.s.-foreign-policy-for-middle-class-perspectives-from-ohio-pub-77779

Salman Ahmed, et al, “U.S. Foreign Policy for the Middle Class: Perspectives From Colorado”, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 5 November 2019: https://carnegieendowment.org/2019/11/05/u.s.-foreign-policy-for-middle-class-perspectives-from-colorado-pub-80112

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer (Goodreads page): https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/40594328-our-man

The Mandalorian, Disney + : https://disneyplusoriginals.disney.com/show/the-mandalorian

Jan 09 2020

41mins

Play

Rank #9: Ep. 35: Ex-ASIO head Duncan Lewis (Part 1): on his military & govt career, and the challenge of terrorism

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In a first for the podcast, we present our first double episode, an exclusive interview with Duncan Lewis AO, DSC, CSC who until recently was Australia’s Director General of Security, leading ASIO, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. In this first part, Allan and Darren discuss Duncan’s remarkable career, which as Allan notes is unique in terms of his experience in senior national security positions. Much of Duncan’s career has been focused on the challenge of terrorism, and this is the main policy focus of Part 1 of this interview.

Duncan joined the Australian army in 1975, rising to become a Major General and head of Special Operations Command, before making the transition to a civilian role in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, where he quickly became a Deputy Secretary focusing on national security issues, before Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appointed him as Australia’s first National Security Advisor. From there he become Secretary of the Department of Defence, then Ambassador to the EU, NATO, Belgium and Luxembourg, before returning to Australia in 2014 to run ASIO.

Much of the conversation revolves around the unique circumstances of Duncan’s career. He provides his perspective on the 9/11 attacks and the (still ongoing) war in Afghanistan, his transition from the military to the Australian Public Service, what it meant to take the top civilian job running the Department of Defence as an ex-military officer, and being present in Europe at the time UK Prime Minister David Cameron called the Brexit referendum. This first part of the interview then concludes specifically on the topic of terrorism, especially through the lens of Duncan’s role leading ASIO, Australia’s domestic intelligence agency, and how the organisation has adapted to the challenge of terrorism on home soil. Duncan also reflects on some of the controversies he’s been caught up in, and how senior officials must navigate politically sensitive issues in an era when facts themselves are seen as partisan.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj 

We want to thank AIIA intern Isabel Hancock for research and audio editing, XC Chong and James Hayne for research support, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music and also Julia Ahrens for technical support in studio. 

Relevant links

Duncan’s Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_Lewis

“An address by ASIO Director General Duncan Lewis”, Lowy Institute, 4 September 2019: http://www.lowyinstitute.org/news-and-media/multimedia/audio/address-asio-director-general-duncan-lewis

Dec 18 2019

45mins

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Rank #10: Ep. 30: Australia’s High Commissioners to Solomon Islands and Samoa discuss diplomacy in the Pacific

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In this special episode, Allan and Darren interview two of Australia’s currently serving ambassadors: Rod Brazier, High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, and Sara Moriarty, High Commissioner to Samoa. As Allan notes in his welcome, the podcast to date has not focused as much on “the role of the overseas network of Australian diplomatic posts, which provide the essential diplomatic transmission belt between Canberra and the world; articulating and advocating for Australian views and interests on the one hand, and interpreting and analysing the overseas country and its leadership for Canberra on the other”.

In a conversation recorded on 11 September 2019, Rod and Sara offer fascinating insight into the countries to which they are accredited, the strategic landscape in the region, and their roles as Heads of Mission in representing Australia. How do these countries see the world, and their place in it? How does Prime Minister Morrison’s concept of “family” diplomacy translate into diplomatic practice? Other topics covered include China growing presence, climate change, the recently commenced Pacific Labour Scheme, and digital diplomacy.

We invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

We thank AIIA intern James Hayne for his help with research and audio editing, XC Chong for research assistance, and Martyn Pearce for technical support. As always, we’re grateful to Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Roderick Brazier’s biography: https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-people/homs/Pages/high-commissioner-to-solomon-islands.aspx

Sara Moriarty’s biography: https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-people/homs/Pages/high-commissioner-to-samoa.aspx

Oct 01 2019

49mins

Play

Rank #11: Ep. 41: Richard Maude on the Indo-Pacific, models of world politics, and Australian foreign policy

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This week Allan and Darren interview Richard Maude, who needs no introduction to regular observers of Australian foreign policy. Until recently, Richard was Deputy Secretary, Indo-Pacific Group, in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Prior to that, he headed the task force responsible for drafting the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper. From 2013-2016, Richard was Director-General of the Office of National Assessments, and before that he was senior adviser on foreign policy and national security to Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Richard has now taken on a new position at the Asia Society Policy Institute as the inaugural Executive Director, Policy, and Senior Fellow.

Allan commences the discussion by asking Richard how he thinks about the “Indo-Pacific” and to describe Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy. How has the world changed since Richard started working on the Australian Foreign Policy White Paper back in 2016? Darren describes his own shock at the events of 2016, and asks Richard whether he has ever been personally surprised by any events in international affairs which, in turn, caused him to update his own “model” of the world. The conversation then returns to a familiar theme of recent episodes of the podcast, sovereignty, and the logic of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s emphasis on the concept in developing his government’s foreign policy. Allan contrasts the challenges to the rules-based order that shaped the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper—in particular relating to the Law of the Sea—with those that have come since, especially emanating from Australia’s allies. Is there still an order to defend and how does a country like Australia do it? And in doing so, will Australia need to be willing to accept trade-offs, such as deemphasising liberalism and democracy, in order to get cooperation on global challenges like climate change, war, or trade?

The conversation moves to China, with Darren asking Richard the extent to which China’s domestic politics factors into his model of China’s behaviour on the world stage, and what major questions remain in his mind regarding China over the coming years. Closer to home, Darren asks whether Richard accepts the premise of two warring “tribes” in the Canberra policymaking community regarding China, and Richard’s answer speaks more broadly to the issue of how to integrate security and economic perspectives into policymaking.

In the final part of the podcast, Allan asks the perennial question of why those who believe that foreign policy is a critical element of Australian statecraft have been unable to convince successive governments to invest in it, while Darren wonders how foreign policy successes can be measured. The podcast concludes with Richard describing his new role with the Asia Society Policy Institute, and reflections on how think tanks and academics can most effectively attract the attention and shape the views of ministers and policy advisers in Canberra.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj 

We thank AIIA intern Isabel Hancock for research and audio editing, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music and Angus Blackman for technical support in studio.

Relevant links

Richard Maude’s biography via the Asia Society Policy Institute: https://asiasociety.org/policy-institute/richard-maude

Richard Maude, “Charting a Course for Australia in a Changing Asia”, Asia Society Policy Institute, 13 February 2020: https://asiasociety.org/australia/charting-course-australia-changing-asia

John Kehoe, “The division in Canberra over China”, Australian Financial Review, 2 December 2019: https://www.afr.com/policy/foreign-affairs/china-power-struggle-in-canberra-20191128-p53f27

Feb 27 2020

49mins

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Rank #12: Ep. 18: Terrorism and counter-terrorism in the wake of the Sri Lanka attacks

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In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, Allan and Darren focus this episode on understanding and responding to the challenges posed by these types of attacks. How has Sri Lanka typically been viewed through the lens of Australian foreign policy, and do these attacks change that? How should we understand these attacks through the lens of the broader challenge of Islamic extremism and what policy responses are available? What role do DFAT and other security agencies play? And do these attacks cast the issue of foreign fighters—with which Australia has been grappling in recent years—in a different light? Allan concludes the episode with some thoughts why foreign policy challenges tend to be downplayed or ignored during Australian election seasons.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com 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 both with research and audio editing, and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Lydia Khalil, “Islamic State's three tactics that will bring terror closer to home”: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-27/is-3-tactics-that-will-bring-terror-closer-to-home/11046346

Hilary McGeachy, “US-China technology competition: Impacting a rules-based order”: https://www.ussc.edu.au/analysis/us-china-technology-competition-impacting-a-rules-based-order

Sue Halpern, “The terrifying potential of the 5G network”: https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-communications/the-terrifying-potential-of-the-5g-network

David French, “The great battle of Winterfell”: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-great-battle-of-winterfell/

Claire Cain Miller (NYT Upshot), “Women Did Everything Right. Then Work Got ‘Greedy’”: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/26/upshot/women-long-hours-greedy-professions.html

May 05 2019

30mins

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Rank #13: Ep. 5: UN General Assembly Meetings; US-China trade war; Australian foreign aid

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In this fifth episode of the podcast, Allan and Darren begin by describing their recent overseas trips—Allan to Beijing, and Darren to Seoul.

The analysis of recent events opens with a focus on the recent leaders’ meetings at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. Donald Trump made the most headlines by bringing his “America First” doctrine to the heart of global multilateralism, and Darren asks about the extent to which we should attach any significance to this fact. The discussion turns to Australia, and our new Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s UNGA speech and its contrast with Trump. While she was in New York, Senator Payne also met with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, hopefully advancing the “reset” in bilateral relations that was kicked off by (former) Prime Minister Turnbull. Finally, Allan and Darren discuss New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s “baby diplomacy” in New York, and the genuine soft power success it represents.

The discussion turns to the trade war between the US and China, which escalated in September with a fresh round of tariffs being imposed on both sides. Darren elects to play devil’s advocate, posing three arguments to Allan for why the trade war might actually be positive for Australia’s interests—one economic, one strategic, and one political. Allan dismisses each in turn!

Finally, against the background of the recent earthquake and tsunami that has devastated the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and the city of Palu in particular, the discussion briefly takes stock of the current state of the Australian aid program, given the downgrading of the portfolio from a ministerial position—the new Assistant Minister is Senator Anne Ruston.

As always, our thanks go to AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell and Mani Bovell, Martyn Pearce of the ANU’s Crawford School, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and AIIA CEO Melissa Conley-Tyler.

Oct 04 2018

46mins

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Rank #14: Ep. 33: US leadership: vision vs reality; RCEP; human rights in China; Syria, the Kurds and US credibility

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Allan and Darren kick off this week’s episode by covering a bad week for the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy at the ASEAN and East Asia Summit meetings in Bangkok. Meanwhile Australia’s Defence Minister Linda Reynolds delivered a constructive speech in Washington DC setting out a vision for precisely what the United States ought to be doing. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement appears set to become a reality, albeit without the participation of India. Staying with India, it is reported that former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell will become Australia’s next High Commissioner.

In a speech in Sydney last week, Foreign Minister Marise Payne raised the plight of the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang while discussing the threats posed by technology to human rights, and Beijing was not pleased; is any criticism of China’s human rights record compatible with a working bilateral relationship? Finally, the two catch up on the news from northern Syria, with Darren asking whether the Trump administration’s withdrawal of troops and abandonment of the Kurds will cause long term problems for America’s credibility.

We invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj 

We thank AIIA intern James Hayne for his help with research and audio editing, and XC Chong for research assistance. As always, we’re grateful to Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Aaron Connelly on the ASEAN Meetings (twitter): https://twitter.com/ConnellyAL/status/1191639856268509185

Linda Reynolds, “Keynote Address, Hudson Institute, Washington DC”, 2 November 2019: https://www.minister.defence.gov.au/minister/lreynolds/transcripts/keynote-address-hudson-institute-washington-dc

Ben Doherty, “Australia to join major Asia-Pacific trade deal RCEP but India holds out”, The Guardian, 4 November 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/05/australia-to-join-major-asia-pacific-trade-deal-rcep-but-india-holds-out

Joe Aston, “Barry O’Farrell to be Australia’s next ambassador to India”, Australian Financial Review, 3 November 2019: www.afr.com/brand/rear-window/barry-o-farrell-to-be-australia-s-next-ambassador-to-india-20191103-p536yl?btis

Marise Payne, “Ensuring security, enabling prosperity”, Speech at the United States Studies Centre, 29 October 2019: https://foreignminister.gov.au/speeches/Pages/2019/mp_sp_191029.aspx

“Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on October 30, 2019”: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1712002.shtml

Allan Gyngell, “From the bookshelf: ‘Meeting Saddam’s men: looking for Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction’”, ASPI Strategist, 6 November 2019: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/from-the-bookshelf-meeting-saddams-men-looking-for-iraqs-weapons-of-mass-destruction/

Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant, “Stop trying to raise successful kids”, The Atlantic, Decemer 2019: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/12/stop-trying-to-raise-successful-kids/600751/

The Ezra Klein Show, “The loneliness epidemic (Vivek Murthy)”, 10 October 2019: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/vox/the-ezra-klein-show/e/64496902

Nov 07 2019

40mins

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Rank #15: Ep. 27: Clare Walsh, DFAT Deputy Secretary on multilateralism, aid and development

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In the final of our recent series of interviews recorded in July, we speak to Clare Walsh, Deputy Secretary for the Global Cooperation, Development and Partnerships Group with Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Clare’s large portfolio covers Australia’s global engagement, in particular our multilateral diplomacy, foreign aid program and thematic issues as diverse as infrastructure, climate change and gender.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Clare begins the interview by explaining her background: how she went from working in local government in Western Australia early in her career to the highest-profile international issues today. Allan then asks Clare to give her assessment on how “shaky” the international order is at present, invoking his fixation with the US’ threatened withdrawal from the Universal Postal Union! Darren follows up by asking how Australia conducts diplomacy within the order: how do we convince others to work inside the order to reform it, rather than walking away, and how do we engage with countries on areas of mutual interest when we might have major disagreements on other issues? 

The conversation shifts to human rights and development. What does it mean to “take up” a human rights issue, what’s the multilateral / bilateral balance in Australian diplomacy, and how useful are the large multilateral forums like the Human Rights Council? Does Australia’s involvement in infrastructure programs represent a broadening of what “development” means in 2019 and what aid programs are asked to do? What about working with partners who are relatively wealthier—how do Australia's development assistance programs differ? And how has the entry of new funders—whether other governments or non-government actors—change the landscape for Australia?

The conversation finishes up by zooming out. Allan asks what is distinct about what DFAT does (“what’s point of DFAT?”), while Darren asks about the securitisation of development and parallels to the familiar “economics vs security” debate.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

Our thanks go to outgoing AIIA intern Charlie Henshall for his help with audio editing, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and Martyn Pearce for technical assistance in studio. 

Relevant links

Clare Walsh’s biography: https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-people/executive/Pages/biography-of-clare-walsh.aspx

Aug 28 2019

44mins

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Rank #16: Ep. 29: PM Morrison visits the Trump White House; prisoners in Iran; energy security; a visit by Fiji’s PM; climate change

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On this week’s episode, Allan and Darren focus on Prime Minister Morrison’s official state visit to the United States this past week and his meetings with Donald Trump at the White House. What is a “state visit”, what could the PM hope to achieve, and what landmines did he need to dodge? In light of a rather extraordinary press conference in the Oval Office, how did Morrison perform overall? And who is Australia’s chief diplomat: the PM or the Foreign Minister? The conversation then turns to Iran and reports that three Australians are imprisoned, as well as the recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities and what this means for Australia’s energy security. The episode concludes by covering the Fijian PM’s recent visit to Canberra and, in the week of the global climate strike and a UN climate summit in New York, how Australia’s position on climate change issues affects our multilateral diplomacy.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj 

We thank AIIA intern James Hayne for his help with research and audio editing, and XC Chong for research assistance. As always, we’re grateful to Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Trump holds bilateral meeting with Australian PM in Oval Office (video), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leyogCcxEX4

Daniel Flitton, “Trump, Morrison, the media, and heading what you want to hear”, Lowy Interpreter, 23 September 2019: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/trump-morrison-media-hearing-what-you-want-hear

Ben Doherty, “Australia left with few diplomatic levers after three citizens detained in Iran”, The Guardian, 12 September 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/12/australia-left-with-few-diplomatic-levers-after-three-citizens-detained-in-iran

Andrew Robertson, “Australia's fuel supplies vulnerable if Middle East conflict cuts supply”, ABC News, 19 September: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-19/australia-remains-vulnerable-to-running-out-of-fuel/11527492

Julie Suares, “JB Chifley: An ardent internationalist”: https://www.mup.com.au/books/jb-chifley-hardback

Shany Mor, “Nobody understands democracy anymore”, Tablet Magazine, 13 August 2019: https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/289489/nobody-understands-democracy-anymore 

Sep 24 2019

43mins

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Rank #17: Ep. 3: Turnbull’s “China reset” speech, Australia’s soft power review, and interview with Miles Kupa

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In the third episode of the Australia in the World podcast, AIIA National President Allan Gyngell and ANU academic Darren Lim discuss the efforts of Prime Minister (at the time of recording) Malcolm Turnbull to “reset” bilateral relations with China in a recent speech, and the topic of Australia’s soft power, in light of a review announced by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Allan and Darren then welcome the podcast’s first ever guest, Miles Kupa, to discuss Malaysia and Indonesia.

Miles Kupa has been Australia’s Ambassador / High Commissioner in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, as well as Deputy Head of Mission in Jakarta, Chief of Staff to Foreign Minister Gareth Evans and Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

We give special thanks to AIIA CEO Melissa Conley-Tyler for her help in getting the podcast established. We also thank AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell our research assistant and Mani Bovell our audio engineer, Martyn Pearce of the Crawford School for technical support, and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Aug 23 2018

47mins

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Rank #18: Ep. 23: Morrison’s Asialink-Bloomberg speech; Lowy Poll; G20

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On this week’s episode, Allan and Darren kick things off with an in-depth discussion of Australian Prime Minister’s Scott Morrison's recent foreign policy speech, delivered a few days before his attendance at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Osaka. Darren asks Allan to situate the speech in Morrison’s trajectory as Prime Minister, and to describe how speeches like this are prepared. The substance itself was especially fascinating, including China’s apparent new status as a “great and powerful friend”, Morrison’s argument that the post-war order has been an important protector of state sovereignty, and his claim that Australia retains agency to shape international affairs.

The second item on the agenda is the results from the latest Lowy Institute poll of the Australian public’s attitudes towards foreign policy and international affairs. As the founding Executive Director of the Lowy Institute under whose leadership the poll was first developed, Allan outlines why he saw such a poll as being necessary and what we have learned from it over time. The latest results include generally positive sentiments towards the United States (excepting Donald Trump), but increasing scepticism towards China. Finally, the two finish with the seemingly gloomy outcomes of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, although Darren attempts to use game theory to try retain a glimmer of optimism.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com 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, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and Martyn Pearce for in-studio technical support this week.

Relevant links

Scott Morrison, “Where we live”, Asialink-Bloomberg Address: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/where-we-live-asialink-bloomberg-address

Lowy Institute Poll 2019: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/lowy-institute-poll-2019

Shiro Armstrong, “The rules-based economic disorder after Osaka G20”, East Asia Forum: https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2019/06/30/the-rules-based-economic-disorder-after-osaka-g20/

Merriden Varrall, “Temper our optimism: the message from the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Osaka”, Lowy Interpreter: http://m.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/temper-our-optimism-message-g20-leaders-summit-osaka

Hugh White, “How to Defend Australia”, book review by Sam Roggeveen in the Lowy Interpreter: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/book-review-hugh-white-s-how-defend-australia

Arthur C. Brooks, “Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think”, The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/work-peak-professional-decline/590650/

Jul 07 2019

36mins

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Rank #19: Ep. 25: David Gruen, Australia’s G20 Sherpa

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This episode we are pleased to present another interview with a senior Australian policymaker. Dr. David Gruen is Deputy Secretary, Economic at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Australia’s G20 Sherpa. David is an economist and has previously worked at the Australian Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Australia. The discussion therefore revolves around the economic dimensions of Australia’s place in the world and international affairs generally.

Allan begins the interview with David’s high-profile role as Australia’s G20 Sherpa. What does the Sherpa actually do, and what is David’s assessment of the recent G20 Leaders’ Summit in Osaka? Darren wonders whether the G20’s loose structure represents the most likely model of international cooperation in the 21st century, even if it’s not always effective.

The discussion then pivots to the global economy, where David offers some reflections on what has surprised him over the years, before addressing the specific tensions between the US and China and the question of decoupling. Darren asks for David’s perspective on the domestic sources of hostility to the rules-based order, and the conversation finishes on the topic of “economics versus security” in Australian foreign policy. David offers some novel and interesting insights, and highlights the efforts of his department to integrate advice that is grounded in these different perspectives more effectively into the policymaking process.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com 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, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and Martyn Pearce for technical assistance in studio.

Relevant links

David Gruen, “The G20 at Ten: Past, Progess and Prospects”, Speech at the Lowy Institute, November 2018: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/g20-ten-past-progress-and-prospects

G20 Osaka Leaders’ Statement on Preventing Exploitation of the Internet for Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism: https://g20.org/en/documents/final_g20_statement_on_preventing_terrorist_and_vect.html

Jonathan Kearns and Philip Lowe, “Australia's Prosperous 2000s: Housing and the Mining Boom”, Research Discussion Paper 2011-07, Reserve Bank of Australia, December 2011: https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2011/2011-07.html

Philip Tetlock, “Expert political judgment”, Goodreads Overview: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/89158.Expert_Political_Judgment

David Gruen, “Collective animosities or cooperation?”, Speech at Symposium discussing ‘Asia’s Response to the Trade War’, Tokyo, December 2018: https://www.pmc.gov.au/news-centre/pmc/keynote-speech-dr-david-gruen-collective-animosities-or-cooperation

Ben Bernanke, “When growth is not enough”, Speech at the European Central Bank Forum, June 2017: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/es_20170626_whengrowthisnotenough.pdf

Mark Davis, “Outside the bubble”, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 September 2009: https://www.smh.com.au/business/outside-the-bubble-20090918-fvgm.html

Aug 01 2019

50mins

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Rank #20: Ep. 4: Change at the top; Huawei and 5G, PM Morrison to Indonesia

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In this fourth episode, Allan and Darren discuss how the chaos that led to Scott Morrison replacing Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister may affect Australian foreign policy, both in terms of overall policy direction and how Australia is perceived abroad. They also discuss the impact of leadership change on Australia’s foreign policy bureaucracy, before reflecting on Julie Bishop’s legacy as foreign minister.

The other major event from the past few weeks was the Australian government’s effective ban of Chinese company Huawei from participating in the construction of the forthcoming 5G telecommunications network. Allan and Darren discuss the processes and inputs to this decision, including the role of the National Security Committee of Cabinet, as well as the Chinese reaction. 

The two then discuss new Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s trip to Indonesia, in particular why he would have chosen to travel so soon after becoming Prime Minister, and then finally they cover the White House’s decision for Donald Trump not to attend upcoming regional summits in Asia. 

As always, our thanks go to AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell and Mani Bovell, Martyn Pearce of the ANU’s Crawford School, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and AIIA CEO Melissa Conley-Tyler.

Sep 06 2018

37mins

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