Foreign affairs

If Australia listened to our hawks on China, we'd have been hung out to dry


By Bob Carr

Note: This article appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on May 23 2017.

It was like a meeting with an Old Testament prophet. Towering and rock-hewn, Malcolm Fraser was grave, telling me – Australia's new foreign minister – that America was capable of being drawn into a land war with China.

'Going to war with China and losing it. And then withdrawing from Asia.'

Belt and Road will go ahead with or without Australia


By James Laurenceson and Elena Collinson

Note: This article appeared in the Lowy Institute for International Policy's blog, The Interpreter, May 22 2017.

A divide has once again opened between Australian economic commentators and defence hawks, this time over China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and what Australia's response to it should be.

Why is Australia dragging its feet on China's Belt and Road?


By James Laurenceson and Xunpeng Shi

Note: This article appeared in The Diplomat, May 19 2017.

China’s massive Belt and Road Forum wrapped up in Beijing on Tuesday. At its conclusion, Australia’s representative, Trade and Investment Minister Steve Ciobo, issued a guarded statement.

China's economic clout and economic diplomacy


The Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) at the University of Technology Sydney welcomed Dr James Reilly, Associate Professor in Northeast Asian Politics at the University of Sydney, to discuss the complexities and challenges of China's current policy settings.

How will China deploy its economic clout as well as its economic diplomacy?

Dr Reilly made reference to his forthcoming book, China's Economic Statecraft in Asia and Europe, due to be published later this year.

Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm


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Will Australia follow the Belt and Road?


By James Laurenceson

Note: This article appeared in East Asia Forum, May 14 2017.

Australia’s reluctance to participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) harks back to its slow entry into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). But this time it may be Australian state governments that push the federal government over the line, rather than decisions made by other countries.

CAG-ACRI South China Sea Conference Report


On February 10-11 2017 the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) at the University of Technology Sydney in collaboration with the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore co-hosted a conference on the South China Sea (SCS).

The Xi-Trump summit: A media survey


From April 6-7 2017 Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump met for the first time since Mr Trump’s inauguration. The Xi-Trump summit took place at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Both Chinese and international media acknowledge there were few tangible outcomes from the Xi-Trump summit. However, the cordial tone and lack of controversy are generally considered positive steps towards ameliorating tensions in US-China relations during the first months of the Trump administration.

Premier Li Keqiang's Australia visit


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Australia from March 22-26, attending official events and dialogues in both Canberra and Sydney. It was the first visit of a Chinese Premier to Australia in 11 years.

What Malcolm Turnbull should ask Li Keqiang about during this visit


By James Laurenceson

Note: This article appeared in The Australian Financial Review, March 22 2017.

When Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in Australia on Wednesday night, he and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will celebrate an economic relationship that is deeper and broader than ever before. 

Canberra’s sensible South China Sea stand is contingent on continued pragmatism in Beijing


By Bob Carr

Note: This article appeared in The Australian, March 18 2017.

It’s a reasonable bet Australians would be more comfortable with a democratic China; that is, a China boasting competing political parties in an elected legislature, buttressed by robust freedom of expression.