However much the debate over irregular boat arrivals has been refocused by the shocking loss of life at sea, it is plain that domestic politics continue to motivate the main players.
Australians’ paroxysmal concern with refugee boats is potent electoral poison. The report by the expert panel on asylum seekers has provided the government with a face-saving measure to renege on its electoral promise not to re-open processing centres on Nauru or PNG, while encouraging the opposition to smugly assert that its policies have been given the green light. It just remains to be seen whether the opposition really does want to “stop the boats:” for it, the boats are an electoral blessing that facilitates a discourse on government neglect and incompetence.
Poor blacks are 47 percent less likely to say they experience stress than poor whites and those differences remain constant over the other income groups as well.
Read the full article » (subscription required)
Prospects for the Korean peninsula: Views from Japan and the United States
Understanding the party system after Taiwan’s 2016 elections
China has a couple of options here. It could choose to be unhappy about this, but not make it a big issue. The other way they could see it is the first step in a kind of probe towards moving towards an official relationship. [Beijing] might calculate that it is better to react vigorously and strongly with the first step rather than wait for the situation to get worse.