Looking Back, Moving Forward: Symposium on the future of Australia-China relations

China Studies Centre, the University of Sydney

9:30am-4:30pm, Tuesday 24 October 2017

Law School Foyer, Level 2, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, the University of Sydney


This year, 2017, marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and The People’s Republic of China, and it is a momentous year to consider the state of this relationship that has become central to Australia. The relationship between the two nations are affected by unpredictable geopolitical changes around the world, from doubts about the integrity of the European Union, to a new brand of conservatism ruling in the US, as reflected by the election of President Trump. In the context of these global developments, will Australia need to rethink its position towards China? What is the role of the US in the region, vis-à-vis China and where does Australia position itself amongst these two powers? Global economic conditions have also altered dramatically in the last 45 years, including the 2008 global economic crisis. Such transformations allows us the opportunity to ask big questions: How will changes in Chinese economic priorities affect the Australian economy? Will Australia be able to capitalise on changes occurring within China’s economy? For Beijing and Canberra, this is an increasingly mature and mutually beneficial relationship, but also one that faces many challenges.

Such questions are at the centre of a one day symposium, co-hosted by the China Studies Centre and the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Involving scholars and practitioners, the symposium will focus on key aspects that have shaped Australia-China relations: the political, economic, social and cultural ties between the two nations. While the symposium provides an opportunity on 45 years of engagement, it is also an apt moment to present lessons learnt to shape and improve future relations.

Panel 1: Economic Relations

Panel 2: Security and International Relations

Panel 3: Cultural Engagement