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 (UTS) established the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) as an independent, non-partisan think tank to illuminate the Australia-China relationship. ACRI was formally launched by Australian Foreign Minister the Hon Julie Bishop.

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.

The Prime Minister who opened diplomatic relations with China, Gough Whitlam, wrote in 1973: ‘We seek a relationship with China based on friendship, cooperation and mutual trust, comparable with that which we have, or seek, with other major powers.’ This spirit was captured by the 2014 commitments by both countries to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the 2015 signing of a Free Trade Agreement.

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 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 the Hon Bob Carr, Director, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney
  • Mr Edmund Capon AM OBE, Adjunct Professor, 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, 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


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
  • Guantao Law
  • Holding Redlich
  • HSBC
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • KJR Advisory
  • Macquarie Group
  • 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