John Howard on the South China Sea
The former Liberal Prime Minister lends support to a pragmatic and realist Australian policy on the South China Sea.
In an address to the Griffith Asia Institute on April 20 2016 former Australian Prime Minister John Howard said:
I think this issue should continue to be dealt with in the patient but firm manner thus far exhibited by both Australia and the United States…Principles should not be compromised, but likewise we should guard against overreaction…
Can China become an innovation-led, high income country? Shenzhen, a Prefecture-level city bordering Hong Kong SAR, provides some answers.
China’s economy: state versus private
Just a few decades ago China’s private sector was almost non-existent. How important is it today?
1. In 2014 China economy specialist Nicholas Lardy concluded that the private sector now produces at least two-thirds of China’s GDP.
What China's Middle Class Means for Australia
Australia’s ‘China Resources boom’ may have peaked but 57 cents in every dollar increase in Australian exports between 2009-10 and 2014-15 still came from China. 
If managed well, Australia’s ‘China dining and services boom’ could run for decades.
1. In 2015 China’s middle class numbered 109 million. This was 17 million more than in the US. 
China: start up nation - what Australia needs to know
Beijing’s Zhongguancun district birthed 49 startups daily in 2014, and behind them was China’s booming venture capital industry. This is big news for Australia’s startup sector.
1. Encouraging venture capital is included as a specific action point in guidelines for China’s 13th five year plan.
South China Sea: What Australia Might Do
The United States is conducting freedom of navigation patrols within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-claimed territory in the South China Sea. This fact sheet summarises Australia’s current position regarding freedom of navigation operations and spells out future options.
The Admiral Asks
China's 6.9 on target
1. 6.9 percent growth meant China’s economy added 50 percent more purchasing power in 2015 than it did in 2010, when it was growing at 10.6 percent. That’s more RMB to be spent on Australian beef, dairy, etc.
2. Consumption accounted for 66.4 percent of China’s GDP growth in 2015. This was up 15 percentage points from 2014.
3. Retails sales grew at 10.7 percent in 2015. Independent data sources confirm robust household consumption. Westpac’s China Consumer Sentiment Index is higher now than it was a year ago.
Chinese Tourism to Australia
China: an economy that’s still on track
China stock market opened 2016 with a seven percent collapse. But the story of the real economy hasn’t changed.
1. On the demand side of China’s economy, fixed asset investment continues to slow but consumption remains robust.
- Retail sales grew at 10.6 percent (year-to-date) in November. 
- On-line sales grew 34.5 percent (ytd) in November.