About ACRI

The Australia-China Relations Institute (UTS:ACRI) is an independent, non-partisan research institute established in 2014 by the University of Technology Sydney. Chinese studies centres exist in other Australian universities. UTS:ACRI, however, is Australia’s first and only research institute devoted to studying the relationship of these countries.

In the past Australia’s dominating economic relationships have been with the British Empire, the United States and Japan. Australia’s most important trading relationship is now with China, a nation very different in governance, politics and values. As China’s economy grows, so too does its strategic weight and the challenges and opportunities this presents to Australia.

UTS:ACRI seeks to inform Australia’s engagement with China through research, analysis and dialogue grounded in scholarly rigour.


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

The Management Committee is headed by UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Ian Watt and comprises Professor Glenn Wightwick, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation and Enterprise); Professor Kathy Walsh, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School; Dr Lai-Ha Chan, Senior Lecturer, Social and Political Sciences Program, School of Communication, UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; and Professor James Laurenceson, UTS:ACRI Director. 


The role of the UTS:ACRI Advisory Board is to provide advice for the UTS:ACRI Management Committee's consideration. 


  • The Hon Philip Ruddock, Mayor, Hornsby Shire Council  


  • Professor James Laurenceson, Director, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney
  • Professor Jocelyn Chey AM, Adjunct Professor, Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture, Western Sydney University
  • Mr Berkeley Cox, Chief Executive Partner, King & Wood Mallesons
  • Professor Jane Golley, Director, Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University
  • Mr Joseph Law, CEO, J Rodarick Corporation
  • Mr Leo Mian Liu, Vice President, Global Partnerships and Director, UTS International, University of Technology Sydney
  • Professor David Michalk, Adjunct Professor, Charles Sturt University
  • Mr Warren Mundine AO, Chairman & Managing Director, Nyungga Black Group
  • Mr Ian Robertson AO, Managing Partner, Holding Redlich
  • Mr James White, Portfolio Manager, Lessep Investment Management
  • Dr Garry Willinge, Chief Executive, Cbridge Limited
  • Dr Jingdong Yuan, Associate Professor, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney


Through its honorary appointments program, UTS:ACRI values its engagement with research, educational and industry partners.

UTS:ACRI honorary appointments are made in line with the UTS Honorary Titles and Awards Policy.

Adjunct Professors

Research Associates

Learn more about UTS:ACRI’s Research Associates Program here.


UTS:ACRI offers a research grants program to support the development of research by academics in UTS faculties and institutes across a variety of disciplines that will help inform Australia-China relations. Applications can be made to UTS:ACRI for up to $5000. This funding can be used for fieldwork, research-related travel and conference attendance, data gathering and analysis, research assistance and publication support.

Applications are now open for 2020.

Learn more about UTS:ACRI’s grants program, including eligibility and the application process here.


UTS:ACRI relies on a mix of funding sources, including from the University of Technology Sydney central research and operational budget, industry partners and registration fees received from the hosting of the UTS:ACRI China Masterclass. 

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

UTS:ACRI is honoured to have the support of the following industry partners:

  • Ashurst
  • China Construction Bank
  • HSBC
  • John Holland
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Moelis Australia
  • PwC
  • Star Entertainment
  • Yancoal

Industry partners do not provide strategic direction nor do they shape or influence UTS:ACRI’s academic activities. UTS:ACRI has a fully independent, academically rigorous and transparent research agenda.


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

Annual Reports