About ACRI


For the first time in its history, Australia’s most important economic relationship is with a nation very different in governance, politics and values. In the past, Australia’s dominating economic relationships had been with the British Empire, the United States and Japan.

Today our most important economic partner is China.

China contributes now more to world economic growth than any other country. China absorbs 34 percent of Australian goods exports. By 2030, 70 percent of the Chinese population is likely to enjoy middle class status: that’s 850 million more middle class Chinese than today.

In 2014, the University of Technology Sydney established the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) as a think tank to illuminate the Australia-China relationship.

Chinese studies centres exist in other universities. The Australia-China Relations Institute, however, is the first think tank devoted to the study of the relationship of these two countries.

Our work is based on a positive and optimistic view of Australia-China relations, capturing the spirit of the 2014 announcement of a Free Trade Agreement and the commitments by both countries to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The Australia-China Relations Institute is building an energetic platform that offers:

  • a rich calendar of events;
  • a flow of fact sheets and  briefings;
  • sponsorship of visits to Australia by overseas policymakers and experts;
  • research papers from academics;
  • public analysis in the media from the Director, Deputy Director and other staff;
  • collaboration with think tanks and universities in Australia and around the world; and
  • polling of Australian and Chinese public opinion.


ACRI’s Management Committee monitors the Institute’s activities and performance, and approves the budget and strategic direction of ACRI’s research and other programs.

The Management Committee is headed by UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement) Professor William Purcell and comprises Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Glenn Wightwick, UTS Director of International Leo Mian Liu, ACRI Director Professor the Hon Bob Carr, ACRI Deputy Director Professor James Laurenceson and UTS Law Faculty Associate Professor and Director of Courses Colin Hawes.


The Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) relies on a mix of funding sources, including from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) central research and operational budget, private philanthropic gifts and corporate donations. Support is financial, in-kind and by way of participation in events, exchanges and public debate.  ACRI has a fully independent, academically rigorous and transparent research agenda.

A $1.8 million donation in December 2013 from Founder and Chairman of the Yuhu Group, Mr Xiangmo Huang enabled UTS to establish ACRI.

ACRI is also supported by corporate contributions via ACRI’s Chairman’s Council.

The Chairman’s Council was established by ACRI to create a network of support and engagement from industry leaders. Council members comprise of a group of senior executives who are helping influence the development of Australia-China relations at a time when China has never been more important to Australians and the world. 

Chairman’s Council Members

  • 3A Investments
  • Australian Turf Club
  • Bank of China
  • BHP Billiton
  • Bloomberg
  • BlueMount Capital
  • China Construction Bank
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Crown Resorts
  • Deloitte
  • EG Funds
  • Holding Redlich
  • HSBC
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • KPMG
  • Macquarie Group
  • PwC
  • Star Entertainment
  • Qantas
  • Yuhu Group
  • Zhiwei Group


The Institute is a UTS entity providing rigorous and independent scholarly research and evidence-based analysis of the highest quality to key stakeholders in the Australia-China relationship, including the Australian public.

The Institute’s day to day activities and the strategic actions of the Management Committee and Members are bound by UTS policies and procedures relating to academic integrity, independence and transparency. Key UTS policy instruments relating to the work of the Institute include:

The full set of UTS Policies can be found here