Australia-China relations in 2023: Beyond 'stabilisation'?
February 09 2023
Despite renewed optimism around Australia-China relations as the new year begins driven by building momentum in high-level diplomatic exchanges, lingering challenges remain. These include ongoing trade disruptions, contention around the AUKUS agreement and the ongoing detention of Australian citizens, Yang Hengjun and Cheng Lei. Can the bilateral relationship move beyond the objective of 'stabilisation', set by the Albanese government upon winning last May’s federal election? Does a shift to less aggressive diplomatic posturing by Beijing signal any deeper changes in the People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s foreign policy aims? Will the PRC’s economy quickly rebound with the abandonment of ‘dynamic COVID zero’, and what are the longer-term economic implications of the pandemic period? And what do foreign policy and economic developments in the PRC mean for Australia’s prosperity and security?
The Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI) hosted a panel discussion in which participants addressed these questions and more.
Panellists included Linda Jakobson, Founding Director and Deputy Chair of China Matters and Senior Advisor of the China Office of Finnish Industries; Professor James Laurenceson, Director of UTS:ACRI; and Professor Guanghua Wan, Director of the Institute of World Economy at Fudan University and Adjunct Professor at UTS:ACRI.
The panel was moderated by journalist and broadcaster Geraldine Doogue AO, host of ABC Radio National’s Extra and Saturday Extra.
Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm AEDT
A transcript of the event is available.
About the speakers
Linda Jakobson is Founding Director and Deputy Chair of China Matters, an independent Australian policy institute. A Mandarin speaker, she has lived and worked in the PRC for a total of 22 years and written five books about the PRC and East Asia. She is internationally known for her publications about the PRC’s foreign policy, cross-Strait relations, and the PRC’s Arctic ambitions. She has served as a policy advisor on China to governments in seven countries. Linda currently divides her time between Australia and Finland where she is the Senior Advisor of the China Office of Finnish Industries.
Professor James Laurenceson
Professor James Laurenceson is Director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney.
He has previously held appointments at the University of Queensland (Australia), Shandong University (China) and Shimonoseki City University (Japan). He was President of the Chinese Economics Society of Australia from 2012-2014.
His academic research has been published in leading scholarly journals including China Economic Review and China Economic Journal.
Professor Laurenceson also provides regular commentary on contemporary developments in China’s economy and the Australia-China economic relationship. His opinion pieces have appeared in The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, South China Morning Post, amongst many others.
Professor Guanghua Wan
Professor Guanghua Wan is an Adjunct Professor at the Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney.
Professor Wan is also Director of the Institute of World Economy at Fudan University. Previously, he was Research Director and Head of Poverty/Inequality Group at Asian Development Bank (ADB). Prior to ADB, he was a senior economist in the United Nations and taught in a number of universities in Australia and China.
Trained in development economics and econometrics, Professor Wan is a multi-award-winning scholar on the Chinese economy and an expert on Asia, with an outstanding publication record of more than 100 professional articles and a dozen books including two by Oxford University Press. An honorary professor of over 10 top institutions in China, Professor Wan is among the top five percent of economists globally and top three percent in Asia according to the latest ranking of RePEc.
About the moderator
Geraldine Doogue AO
Geraldine Doogue is a renowned Australian journalist and broadcaster with experience in print, television and radio. While originally planning a career as a schoolteacher after completing her Arts degree, in 1972 Geraldine applied on an impulse for a journalism cadetship with The West Australian instead.
During her career with both the ABC and commercial media she has won two Penguin Awards for excellence in broadcasting from the Television Society of Australia and a United Nations Media Peace Prize. In 2000 Geraldine was awarded a Churchill Fellowship for social and cultural reporting. In 2003, she was recognised with an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to the community and media. Geraldine tackles a wide range of subjects with rigour, optimism, humour and warmth.