The PRC’s foreign policy in the post-COVID era: Implications for Australia

November 09 2023

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is no longer the same country as it was pre-pandemic. It is struggling economically. It views the region and the world, as well as its own regional and global roles, differently than it did before 2020. The nation views Australia differently too. The PRC’s increasing foreign policy assertiveness, and Beijing and Canberra’s fundamentally different views on the role the US should play in the regional order against a backdrop of intensifying US-PRC strategic competition, means that the Australia-PRC relationship is unlikely to return to the sunny optimism of 2015.

Where is the PRC’s foreign policy now headed? How do Australia watchers in the PRC now think about the bilateral relationship? How can Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s impending visit be judged a success? How much ballast is there in the current positive trajectory?

The Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI) in partnership with China Matters hosted a panel discussion with three China-watchers who have recently returned from trips to Beijing to discuss these questions and more. Panellists included Professor James Laurenceson, Director of UTS:ACRI; Ms Linda Jakobson, Founding Director and Deputy Chair of China Matters and Senior Advisor of the China Office of Finnish Industries; and Ms Yun Jiang, AIIA China Matters Fellow and UTS:ACRI Visiting Fellow. The panel was moderated by Mr Samuel Yang, co-host of China Tonight on ABC TV.

At the event UTS:ACRI and China Matters announced the establishment of a new initiative: the China Matters Fellowship at UTS:ACRI. 

Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm AEDT 


transcript of the event is available.


About the speakers

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 ReviewThe AustralianSydney Morning HeraldSouth China Morning Post, amongst many others.

Ms Linda Jakobson

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.

Ms Yun Jiang

Yun Jiang is the AIIA China Matters Fellow and a UTS:ACRI Visiting Scholar.

She was formerly a director at the China Policy Centre, an editor of the China Story blog and a researcher at the Australian National University.

Prior to this, she has worked for the Australian Public Service for eight years, including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Defence, and Treasury. Her research interests include geoeconomics, crosscutting issues on China, Australia-China relations, and Chinese-Australians. Yun holds a Master of Public Policy and Master of Diplomacy from the Australian National University (ANU). She speaks Mandarin.


About the moderator

Mr Samuel Yang

Samuel is currently a co-host of China Tonight on ABC TV and a reporter/producer with the Business Reporting Team in Sydney. He joined the ABC as a News Cadet in 2018 and works across television, online and radio.

He previously worked with the SBS Dateline program as a researcher in 2017. He has a Masters of Journalism & Communication and a Masters of International Relations from the University of New South Wales.

Event Gallery


Event Information
November 09 2023
5:30 PM
In-person or online
Level 3 Auditorium, UTS Business School
14-28 Ultimo Road
Ultimo NSW 2007