Australia-China Relations

The second issue of the La Trobe Asia Brief explores the elusive balance in Australia and China relations

The relationship with China is of critical importance to Australia. It is also increasingly complex, being influenced by economics, domestic factors and strategic forces.

Yet it is a relationship with underlying tension. China and Australia sometimes find themselves on different sides of the table in some bilateral issues, and disagreements over foreign investment in Australia, influence, and the interests of allied countries might prevent further successful co-operation or interaction.

La Trobe Asia will explore this increasingly complex topic in its latest La Trobe Asia Brief - Australia-China Relations: Finding the Elusive Balance.

The publication comprises a series of opinion pieces, published with a creative commons license, examining the Australia-China relationship by eight, highly-respected experts with diverse views from both Australia and China.

It makes a timely and valuable contribution to Australia’s sometimes polarised China debate, and should serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, scholars and members of the public.

Download La Trobe Asia Brief Issue 2 - Australia-China Relations: Finding the Elusive Balance.

Book your free ticket 
Nick Bisley, Dan Hu, Rowan Callick and John Fitzgerald will speak at a launch event at the State Library of Victoria at 6pm.


Facing China without our historical ally
Professor Hugh White (Emeritus, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University)
"For all the talk of shared history and values, we can no longer rely on America to keep us secure.”

Should Australia be involved in the South China Sea?
Dr Rebecca Strating  (Senior Lecturer, Politics, La Trobe University)
"For Australia, the dilemma is the extent to which it is willing to accommodate China’s rewriting of the maritime rules.”

Sensibility to prevail over prejudices
Professor Chen Hong (Director, Australian Studies Centre, East China Normal University)
“It is deplorable that the bilateral relationship has been undergoing depression for two years.”

Morrison's China choice
Dr Euan Graham (Executive Director, La Trobe Asia, La Trobe University)
“The halcyon days of having one’s cake and eating it too are drawing to a close.”

Why is China annoyed with Australia?
Dr Dan Hu (Deputy Director, Australian Studies Centre, Beijing Foreign Studies University)
"It is unrealistic to hope that such open opposition and criticism across a wide spectrum of issues would not be hurtful towards a country.”

Finding a new China policy Equilibrium
Professor Nick Bisley (Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University)
"China policy must be pragmatic. The PRC and its influence and power cannot be wished away, and some kind of accommodation of Chinese interests will have to be negotiated.”

A testing friendship
Rowan Callick (Journalist, author, advisory board member of La Trobe Asia)
“China’s leaders feel they’ve got a pretty full measure of Australia – its capabilities and its limits. The reverse is far from true, despite China having become Australia’s largest trading partner almost a dozen years ago.”

Values in Australian diplomacy
Professor John Fitzgerald (Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University of Technology)
“Australian governments will need to hold allies and partners to their word if they want to distinguish themselves from authoritarian alternatives.”