Briefing and working papers

Australia-China relations monthly summary - May 2018


The latest developments in Australia-China relations in May 2018 by Elena Collinson, Senior Project and Research Officer, Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI), University of Technology Sydney (UTS). 

A trade snapshot is provided by James Laurenceson, Deputy Director, ACRI, UTS.

Ministerial and opposition engagement

Australia-China relations monthly summary - April 2018


Military base on Vanuatu

On April 9 Fairfax Media, citing anonymous sources, reported that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Vanuatu were engaged in talks about establishing a PRC military base in the Pacific state:

Fairfax Media can reveal there have been preliminary discussions between the Chinese and Vanuatu governments about a military build-up in the island nation.

Australia and the Belt and Road Initiative: A survey of developments 2013-September 2017


On September 7 2013 at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University, Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time outlined a vision for an overland ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ connecting Central Asia and China’s western provinces. In an address to the Indonesian Parliament in October 2013, President Xi announced the development of a ‘New Maritime Silk Road’ spanning Southeast Asia.

Australia-China Relations (January 2015 to June 2016)


This chapter will detail the notable trends and key developments in Australian political, economic, strategic and cultural engagement with China from January 2015 to June 2016.

Working Paper: China’s debt challenge: stylised facts, drivers and policy implications


This paper begins by showing that even after conditioning for factors that might justifiably lead to a country having relatively high leverage, China remains a debt outlier. In this sense China can be regarded as over-leveraged and its debt may present a potential risk to growth and financial stability. The corporate sector is central to China’s debt story, accounting for two-thirds of the total. The corporate sector has also been mostly responsible for China’s leverage cycles, including the leveraging up since 2008 and an earlier deleveraging phase starting in 2003.

ACRI working paper: Chinese investment in critical infrastructure: much ado about not much?


Defence hawks have cited the Northern Territory Government’s decision to lease Port of Darwin to Shandong Landbridge Group in 2015 as reason to call for changes in Australia’s foreign investment approvals regime that would restrict Chinese investment in critical infrastructure assets on security grounds. They have also claimed the support of public opinion. This paper begins by reviewing the security debate around the Darwin Port sale and highlights that the alleged risks raised by critics of the deal have been downplayed by academic experts and leading defence and intelligence figures.