About ACRI

The Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) is an independent, non-partisan research institute established in 2014 by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). 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 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation and Enterprise) Professor Glenn Wightwick, Vice President, Global Partnerships & Director, UTS International Leo Mian Liu, ACRI Acting Director Professor James Laurenceson and UTS Law Faculty Associate Professor and Director of Courses Colin Hawes.


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


  • The Hon Philip Ruddock, Mayor, Hornsby Shire Council  


  • Professor James Laurenceson, Acting Director, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney
  • Professor Jocelyn Chey AM, Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture, Western Sydney University
  • Mr Berkeley Cox, Chief Executive Partner, King & Wood Mallesons
  • Dr Jane Golley, Deputy 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, 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 UTS Honorary Titles and Awards Policy.

Adjunct Professors


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

  • Ashurst 
  • Bank of China
  • Bloomberg
  • China Construction Bank
  • China Merchants Bank
  • Crown Resorts
  • Deloitte
  • EG Funds
  • Holding Redlich
  • HSBC
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Macquarie Group
  • Moelis Australia
  • PwC
  • Star Entertainment
  • Qantas
  • Yancoal Australia Ltd


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