Author: Evan Ellis

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    China calls a halt to dirty coal imports

    • Evan Ellis
    • 23 September 2014
    2 Comments

    From 1 January 2015, China will ban the import of coal with high ash or sulphur content and impose a three per cent tariff on all coal imports. In the muddle of politics and policy, we have a concrete example of worsening environmental conditions forcing policy makers to act. Australia's economy propped up by coal exports, but it's also time to think beyond the specific implications of China’s proposed restrictions. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Let's talk about how we talk about China

    • Evan Ellis
    • 24 August 2014
    2 Comments

    China's meteoric rise is still a relatively new phenomenon. The contours of public discourse on this topic are not yet well worn. Clive Palmer's comments weren't a gaffe so much as a stump speech.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    'Forgotten' Tiananmen's shadow on modern China

    • Evan Ellis
    • 03 June 2014
    8 Comments

    Twenty-five years ago the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square. One eyewitness kept a tally of the dead that reached 2600 before hospitals went mum due to pressure from above. If China is to overcome the challenges it will face in the decades ahead, it must draw upon the great reserve of strength, the spirit of solidarity that was on display among the protesters that spring. Instead there remains a concerted effort to forget.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The trust deficit is international

    • Evan Ellis
    • 19 May 2014
    2 Comments

    Despite the bloodletting of last week's budget, the Australian Government could still find  some 12 billion dollars for 58 Joint Strike Fighters. This is part of the reality of the Asian Century. Australia will need statesmen and women of the highest calibre, but ultimately a lasting peace requires all nations to act together to create an international order that is actually ordered.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Gifts of blood follow Kunming horror

    • Evan Ellis
    • 06 March 2014
    4 Comments

    My tutor in Kunming was deeply shaken by the mass stabbings last weekend that left 29 civilians dead. When Chinese authorities put out a request for blood donors in the city, giving blood was all she wanted to do. The city's blood banks have struggled to accommodate the throng of willing donors, the upturned arms of ordinary citizens replacing some of the blood spilt by the long knives. This strikes me as profoundly Eucharistic.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Al Shabaab's grisly PR pitch

    • Evan Ellis
    • 26 September 2013
    3 Comments

    Last week most Australians had not heard of al Shabaab. But after a grisly four-day 'performance', complete with social media strategy, this has changed. The Nairobi shopping mall massacre was made for media consumption. Kenya might be tempted to simply seek revenge, but a measured, discriminate response that prioritised the safety of all Kenyans would allow the government to draw a line between the 'bad men' and themselves.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The distraction of red lines in Syria

    • Evan Ellis
    • 26 August 2013
    5 Comments

    In some ways the intense focus on chemical weapons and red lines is diversionary. Enough blood has been spilt to paint a thousand red lines. 100,000+ people have been killed already. Is it somehow easier on the International Community’s conscience to think of families being ripped apart by artillery shells than dying from chemical warfare? 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foreign policy beyond asylum seeker silliness

    • Evan Ellis
    • 15 August 2013
    1 Comment

    We might get lucky. Malcolm Turnbull might be right, and the mass of egos, grievances and interests that make up US-Sino relations might 'evolve into a new order, without either side having to make concessions to the other'. But the risks are growing. In this context the framing of asylum seekers as a threat to our sovereignty seems plain silly. War between China and the US would be a disaster to our national interests.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Egyptian democracy a long way off

    • Evan Ellis
    • 04 July 2013
    3 Comments

    President Mohamed Morsi did not govern particularly well. Egypt's rating on the Failed State Index has slipped from 45 to 34 since the fall of Mubarak. But the truth is that this crisis was not merely 12 months in the making, and Egypt's democracy was merely grafted on to a structure in which the military was the real power.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Obama no 'wuss' but at what cost to Syria?

    • Evan Ellis
    • 17 June 2013
    4 Comments

    Alluding to his own military style intervention in Kosovo, Bill Clinton warned Obama not to look like a 'wuss' on Syria. Still, Obama's decision to start providing arms to Syrian rebels is an enormous risk. Australia's history of state interventions to tackle Indigenous disadvantage provide surprisingly apt criteria for evaluating the decision.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Best of 2012: Catholic and Aboriginal 'listening revolutions'

    • Evan Ellis
    • 09 January 2013
    4 Comments

    St Benedict of Nursia knew about living in a dying world. He was born 25 years after the Vandals sacked Rome and died months after the Ostrogoths had their turn. He watched as old certainties went up in flame. As existing institutions were hollowed out or winnowed completely, Benedict started a revolution. Wednesday 12 September 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    US gun law reform is biblical

    • Evan Ellis
    • 17 December 2012
    10 Comments

    Following the latest school massacre US President Obama cited Psalm 147, invoking God to 'heal the broken-hearted and bind up their wounds', and renewed a call for 'meaningful action'. He'll be judged not on his words, but on how he defines and delivers said 'action'. He'd do well to first revisit Psalm 147 in its entirety. 

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