As the strategic rivalry between the United States and China rapidly deepens, growing distrust and fears of China are once again shaping Australian media coverage and public discourse, with potent implications for Australia’s China policy.
At this crucial historical moment, Engaging China offers a full-throated defence of engagement. This volume brings together a diverse set of Australia’s seasoned diplomats, experienced journalists and renowned scholars to assess the current state of Australia–China relations and offer pragmatic advice for how Australia can restore a healthy and stable relationship with China.
Over the past five decades, Australia’s engagement of China has facilitated a deepening economic relationship alongside expanded cultural, educational and people-to-people exchanges, fostering greater understanding between the two countries and populations.
The contributors to this volume share a common vision: Australia and Australians should continue to engage with China and Chinese people for mutual benefit. The chapters take stock of past achievements, identify recent challenges and offer practical suggestions for how the Australian government and Australian firms, institutions and individuals can proactively, productively and securely engage with China.
Australia’s rich and diverse relations with China extend far beyond the political and economic interactions that tend to dominate news headlines. In explaining how and why an engagement strategy continues to serve Australian interests, Engaging China offers a timely alternative to the prevailing public and policy discourses on Australia’s most challenging bilateral relationship.
“This book offers important insights on Australia’s most difficult and consequential foreign-policy challenge. The authoritative authors transcend the simplistic pro-China v anti-China dichotomies that distort so much of our national debate, to capture the true complexity of the issues and explore the real opportunities to manage relations with China to our long-term advantage. It is a fine example of exactly the kind of contribution we need to help us navigate our region’s economic and strategic transformation in the difficult decades ahead.”
Hugh White AO, Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University