Engaging with China in the Asian Century

EngagingwithChinaAustralian Institute of International Affairs Victoria

Australia’s Public Diplomacy Challenges: Engaging with China in the Asian Century

Professor John Fitzgerald FAHA, Swinburne University of Technology

6pm – 7.30pm, Wednesday 27 April
Dyason House, 124 Jolimont Road, East Melbourne

Like other states, the People’s Republic of China promotes international trade, investment, security and people-to-people ties through an active public diplomacy program abroad.  At one level China’s public diplomacy program targets cultural agreements and exchanges, public events, media and print publications, and educational programs.  But on another level, China has developed a concerted program specifically targeting China’s ethnic diasporas, for example through Chinese-language media in Australia.

China’s strategy of targeting Chinese Australians, as patriotic Chinese, is not matched by Australian government or community engagement with Chinese Australians as Australians.  In the absence of a strategy to engage Australia’s own Chinese communities in relation to China, the voice of the Chinese-Australian community and the shape of broader Australian community life is increasingly shaped by national strategies drafted in Beijing.

Australia’s Chinese communities are among its greatest assets for building closer social, cultural, educational and trading ties with China and the wider Asia-Pacific region.  How should Australia shape its public diplomacy in the digital age?  How do we meet the public diplomacy challenge of engaging Asian diasporas in bilateral relations?

AIIA Victoria invites you to join Professor John Fitzgerald, one of Australia’s leading Sinologists, for a timely and thought-provoking discussion.

Professor John Fitzgerald is the Director of the Asia-Pacific Social Investment and Philanthropy Program at Swinburne University of Technology.  Before joining Swinburne in 2013 John Fitzgerald served five years as Representative of The Ford Foundation in Beijing where he directed the Foundation’s China operations.  Before that, he was Head of the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University and previously directed the International Centre of Excellence in Asia-Pacific Studies at the Australian National University.  In Canberra he served as Chair of the Education Committee of the Australia-China Council of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as chair of the Committee for National and International Cooperation of the Australian Research Council, and as International Secretary of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.  Professor Fitzgerald’s research focuses on territorial government and civil society in China and on Australia’s Asian diasporas.  His publications have won international recognition, including the Joseph Levenson Prize of the US Association for Asian Studies and the Ernest Scott Prize of the Australian Historical Association.

More information and registration: http://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/events/australias-public-diplomacy-challenges-engaging-with-china-in-the-asian-century/