Different Pond, Different Fish: Crossed Wires in Australian–Indonesian Relations

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When Australians went to the polls in 2013, they were offered a stronger relationship with Indonesia. It was said the coalition’s foreign policy would be ‘more Jakarta and less Geneva’; focused on the concerns of our region rather than diplomacy in distant capitals. It was a catchy slogan, to be sure, but as a pledge, it did not fit easily with another plank of the campaign. If elected, opposition leader Tony Abbott also committed that his government would ‘turn back the boats’ stating that asylum seekers sailing from Indonesia were not welcome here.

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