The Lowy Institute, in Sydney, has released a report -- Football Diplomacy Redux -- on how Australia might use the Asian Cup 2015 as a means to strengthen Australia's ties with Asia. See the new report here. The author, Lowy's Mark Bubalo, discusses the new report in the short video above.
The recent report follows a 2005 report from the Lowy Institute on Football Diplomacy (here in PDF). The 2005 paper presented the opportunity as follows:
While Australian governments have successfully built pragmatic ties with Asian leaders, a popular dimension to our engagement with Asia has in many respects been missing. This didn’t matter greatly in the past, but today public opinion is increasingly a factor in foreign policy. Governments must influence individuals as well as elites to address global problems such as terrorism and disease and ‘branding’ has become critical to a state’s ability to attract trade, investment and international political support. But a new opportunity to deepen people-to-people links with Asia has arrived in the form of Australia’s recent admission into the Asian Football Confederation. For the first time, Australia will have a significant sporting relationship with Asia. The question is, how can Australia best use this opportunity to enhance its regional image and engagement?