Fraser and China

acri-utsACRI Prime Ministers Series

Monday August 17 2015
Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Level 26, 567 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000
5.30 pm for a 6.00 pm start, concluding at 7.30 pm
Registration required

The Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) at UTS presents the third instalment of our ‘Prime Ministers Series’: a series of events dedicated to highlighting the China policies of former Australian Prime Ministers.

In honouring the Right Honourable Malcom Fraser’s contribution to Australia-China relations, ACRI has convened a tribute event hosted by Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Melbourne.

fraserchinaMalcolm Fraser was Prime Minister from November 1975 to March 1983. In 1976 his first overseas visit was to Japan and China rather than to traditional allies Britain and the United States. It was a historical year in China with the deaths of Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong, the Tangshan earthquake and the demise of the Gang of Four. Mr Fraser visited China as Prime Minister for the second time in 1982. With a history of hostility towards China as a Liberal backbencher and then as Minister for the Army and Minister for Defence, Mr Fraser went on to pursue the relationship as a priority. Under Prime Minister Fraser’s leadership Australia was the first country to strike a bilateral aid agreement with China. He established the Australia-China Council in 1978. Between 1977 and 1984 Australia’s trade with China more than doubled from $525 million to $1.2 billion, reflecting an annual growth rate of 12.3 percent. During Vice Premier Li Xiannian’s visit to Australia in 1980, Mr Fraser announced the largest ever block sale to China of Australian sugar.

Our panellists reflect on this intriguing journey that culminated in a strong and bipartisan approach to Australia-China relations. Our panellists include:
– Dr John Fitzgerald, Director, Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Impact & Philanthropy at Swinburne University of Technology; and
– Associate Professor James Curran, Department of History and the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

The discussion will be moderated by ACRI Director Bob Carr, former Foreign Minister and longest serving Premier of New South Wales.