Journal publications

Demystifying Australia-China trade tensions

December

In 2020 Australia’s political relations with China plumbed new depths. Trade and other economic ties were also hit with disruption. Contributing to this deterioration, and complicating an accurate assessment of the consequences, has been a raft of misunderstandings. This article demystifies the bilateral trade tensions by exposing the deeper drivers of political friction, providing a critical assessment of the vulnerability of the Australian economy, and placing the current state of Australia’s relations with China in a comparative regional perspective.

Canberra, we have a problem: Interpreting shifting American grand strategy preferences in an era of Sino–US rivalry

December

President Joe Biden's assertion that 'America is back' and will embrace 'strategic competition' with the People's Republic of China has been welcomed in Australia as a sign that the United States is returning to a 'normal' grand strategy after the turbulence of the Trump administration. This article argues, however, that this is a problematic assumption as it ignores the question of how American grand strategy choices are made and articulated.

Assessing the risks from Australia’s economic exposure to China

December

This paper suggests Australia’s economic exposure to China creates three distinct risks: a Chinese growth shock that comes with a ‘hard landing’, a structural shift towards less import and natural resources–intensive Chinese growth, and the Chinese Government disrupting trade ties for coercive purposes. With external demand for Australia’s goods and services largely exogenous, the scope to mitigate these risks by reducing exposure to China, without resorting to costly market intervention, is limited. At the same time, the probability and scale of each risk should not be overstated.

Review of 'Our exceptional friend: Australia’s fatal alliance with the United States,' by Emma Shortis

December

Currently, the US alliance has a prominence in national debate arguably comparable only to the times of the Vietnam and 2003 Iraq wars. Yet for 20 years, debates over the Anzac legend have been entwined in discussions of the alliance and vice versa. At the same time, successive Australian governments have presided over institutional enhancements to the alliance.

Australia–China relations through the frame of trade

December

Since 2017, the political and diplomatic relationship between Australia and China has seen better days; notably, in that, no Australian Prime Minister has been invited to China since 2016. Yet despite these tensions, the economic relationship remains strong. The traditional mainstay of the trading relationship (natural resources for manufactured goods) remains solid and has been joined by an increasing flow of services (tourism, education, and logistics).

The Chinese economy: crisis, control, recovery, refocus

December

This book chapter recaps and unpacks a year of crisis, control, recovery and refocus in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) economy, drawing implications for the global economy and Australia.

Interrogating Chinese economic coercion: the Australian experience since 2017

December

This paper begins by critically reviewing the theoretical basis underpinning use of economic coercion to shift a target country’s political positions, drawing attention to the likelihood of success being context-dependent. Six case studies are then documented where a coercive frame is evident in reporting and commentary to interpret Chinese actions taken against Australian exports since 2017. These show that trade impacts of Chinese actions have generally been modest in scale, short-lived and/or significantly mitigated.

Dynamics of Australia's LNG export performance: A modified constant market shares analysis

December

With continuous growth, the global LNG market is becoming increasingly competitive over time, and Australia is at the forefront. This paper makes the first attempt to analyse the dynamics of Australia's LNG export performance, using an improved Constant Market Share (CMS) model and UN Comtrade LNG trade data in four sub-periods spanning 1989 to 2017.

Campus conundrums: clashes and collaborations

December

This book chapter examines the challenges faced by Australian universities as they navigate issues around free speech on campuses and research collaboration with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The University of Queensland (UQ) serves as a case in point, with debates around protests and counter-protests supported by the PRC’s Consul-General in Brisbane raising questions around free speech and foreign interference by the PRC government in Australian universities.

Quantification of fresh water consumption and scarcity footprints of hydrogen from water electrolysis: A methodology framework

December

Australia aims to be a major global player in the hydrogen market by 2030. Hydrogen exports – particularly to East Asian economies such as China – are expected to substitute coal and natural gas exports, thereby sustaining the Australian economy. Using a comprehensive new methodology, the authors estimate the respective life-cycle water consumption of three hydrogen production technologies – grid electricity, solar and wind powered  – as well as the distribution of water consumption across Australia, China and the rest of the world.