During Xi Jinping’s opening address at the Communist Party’s 19th National Party Congress last week, the Chinese president outlined his vision of a “new era” for China – one that will see “China moving closer to centre stage”.
China’s economic and foreign policies have significant implications for Australia. More than 30% of our exports go to China, more than 1 million Chinese tourists visit Australia every year, and about 30% of international students in Australia are Chinese, contributing billions to the economy.
It is obvious that Australia needs to maintain a strong relationship with China as it transitions to a “new era”. But the relationship is often complicated by the perception that Australia needs to choose between our military ally, the US, and our biggest trading partner, China.
William Isdale spoke with Bates Gill, professor of Asia-Pacific strategic studies at Macquarie University, about Australia’s complex relationship with China and how we must adapt to meet China’s evolving needs. Gill recently co-authored a book, China Matters: Getting it Right for Australia, which explores the importance of the relationship between the two countries.
Authors: William Isdale, Research Assistant, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne