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); Associate Professor Grace Li, UTS Faculty of Law; Associate Professor Dongbin Wei, UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology; 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. Warwick Smith AO, Chairman, Global Engagement Committee – Business Council of Australia; Fellow, Australian Institute of International Affairs (Chair)
  • Ms Heidi Yaqi Han JP, Former journalist; community leader; Head of Marketing and Communications, eBest Pty Ltd
  • Ms Renae Lattey, Chief Executive Partner, King & Wood Mallesons, Australia
  • Professor James Laurenceson, Director, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Angela Lehmann, Chair, Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC)
  • Mr Peter Osborne, former Managing Director Asia, Blackmores Limited
  • Dr Garry Willinge, Chief Executive, Cbridge Limited
  • Professor Daojiong Zha, Professor, School of International Studies, Peking University


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.

Emeritus Professors

Adjunct Professors

Adjunct Associate Professors

  • Dr James Cheong, Associate Professor, Hang Seng University of Hong Kong
  • Dr Chengxin Pan, Associate Professor of Political Science, Department of Government and Public Administration, University of Macau
  • Professor Junji Xiao, Associate Professor, Lingnan University of Hong Kong
  • Dr Jingdong Yuan, Associate Professor, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney and Associate Senior Fellow, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Adjunct Industry Fellows

Adjunct Fellows

  • Dr Minran Liu, lecturer, University of Sydney
  • Kevin Magee, former Australian ambassador and senior Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) official
  • Muyi Yang, Senior Electricity Policy Analyst, Ember

Visiting Fellows

  • Pei Duan, Associate Professor and master tutor, Shanxi University of Finance and Economics
  • Yun Jiang, AIIA China Matters Fellow

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.

Grant applications undergo strict and rigorous assessment by the UTS:ACRI Grants Assessment Committee. The Committee is comprised of academics with demonstrated research credentials and standing.

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

2024 UTS:ACRI Research Grant recipients:

  • Professor Mark Beeson, UTS:ACRI, Understanding China-Australia relations: Time for a quantum leap?
  • Dr Lai-Ha Chan, UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, A new frontier in the South Pacific geopolitics: How Nauru’s advocacy of deep-sea mining and resumption of diplomatic relations with China affect Australia’s strategic interests?
  • Dr Sameera Durrani, UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, How does China challenge Australian soft power? Exploring regional playbooks of adversarial branding
  • Professor Youguang Guo, UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Analysing the role of electric vehicles in shaping the future Australia-China research and economic relationship
  • Associate Professor Colin Hawes, UTS Faculty of Law, Comparing Australian and European perspectives and policies on Chinese in-bound corporate investment
  • Associate Professor Kaveh Khalilpour, UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Electrifying tomorrow - Advancing cooperation in the industrial chain of electric vehicles in Australia and China
  • Dr Minran Liu, UTS:ACRI, Revisiting Chinese-Australian perspectives on indigenous policies
  • Professor Kathy Walsh, UTS Business School, RMB internationalisation and implications for Australia

2023 UTS:ACRI Research Grant recipients:

  • Associate Professor Song Shi, UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, The competitiveness and barriers of Chinese agents in the Australian housing market
  • Professor Wanning Sun, UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, News consumption and belonging: Australian media coverage of China and Mandarin-speaking first-generation migrants in Australia

2022 UTS:ACRI Research Grant recipients:

  • Dr Lai-Ha Chan, UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Can like-minded minilateralism help Australia to defend itself from the China challenge? 
  • Associate Professor Grace Li, UTS Faculty of Law, Surveying Chinese students’ attitudes to studying law in Australia
  • Professor Kathy Walsh, UTS Business School, The impact of short selling on stock market manipulation in China
  • Associate Professor Jianxin Wang, UTS Business School, China’s financial opening and the risks and benefits for Australia

2021 UTS:ACRI Research Grant recipients:

  • Associate Professor Colin Hawes, UTS Faculty of Law, United States sanctions on Chinese telecom and hi-tech firms, and their impact on Australia-China relations
  • Dr Yongjian Ke, UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, Public perceptions of Chinese investment in Australian infrastructure: a Twitter study
  • Dr Soojin Kim, UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Alliance or/and enemy? Debunking perceptual antecedents, attitudinal changes and behavioural outcomes toward diplomatic relationships with China 
  • Professor Kathy Walsh, UTS Business School, Is Australia ready for China’s digital currency? An investigation of benefits, risks and perceptions
  • Professor Stuart White, UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures, Food, diet and sustainability: future trends and opportunities for Australia-China cooperation 
  • Associate Professor Jingdong Yuan, UTS:ACRI, Divide and conquer: Beijing’s wedge strategies and the fragility of US alliances in Asia

2020 UTS:ACRI Research Grant recipients:

  • Dr Lai-Ha Chan, UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Australia’s half-hearted engagement with the FOIP and the BRI: the role of middle power identity
  • Associate Professor Colin Hawes, UTS Faculty of Law, The Chinese corporate ecosystem
  • Dr Susie Khamis, UTS Business School, The role of popular social media and digital public diplomacy in Australia-China relations: Analysis of how Facebook and WeChat influence nation branding and mutual perceptions
  • Associate Professor Shiko Maruyama, UTS Business School, Not only exporting education but also importing brains? Chinese students’ migration decision after graduation 
  • Professor Greg McCarthy, UTS:ACRI, Australia-China relations: understanding Australia in China
  • Dr Suwin Sandu, UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The role of hydrogen energy in shaping the future Australia-China economic relationship: A macroeconomic analysis
  • Associate Professor Song Shi, UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, Do Chinese buyers push up Sydney housing prices?
  • Professor Kathy Walsh, UTS Business School, Could China’s digital currency be a catalyst for internationalising the Renminbi?
  • Associate Professor Jingqing Yang, UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, New narratives and novel coronavirus: China’s COVID war on mass media
  • Dr Yi Zhang, UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, What is the role of Australia-China collaboration in Australia’s AI research: A study of competitive technological intelligence


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

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

  • China Construction Bank
  • John Holland
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • MA Financial Group 

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.

A one-off $1.8 million donation in December 2013 dispersed over three years and finishing in 2016, from Founder and Chairman of the Yuhu Group, Mr Xiangmo Huang, enabled UTS to establish ACRI.


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