Why China Matters

China is important to Australia’s future.

It is essential for Australia to get its relationship with China right.

While public discourse in Australia on China is increasingly lively, it is critical to Australia’s future that it be better-informed.

Australians know that China is important to Australia, but many do not have a nuanced understanding of the reasons why nor do they fully appreciate the risks and opportunities involved in relations with China.

Our goal

China Matters was established to stimulate a realistic and nuanced discussion of China among Australian business, government and the security establishment, and advance sound policy.

The goals of this high-profile and high-impact effort are to expand awareness and understanding, inform public and elite opinions, and recommend solid policy in Australia on the complexities, opportunities, and challenges of Australia’s relationship with China.

This is a discrete and unique effort, different from other China undertakings in Australia in that it is independent, is not tied to any institution, and is focused exclusively from a policy perspective on China’s rise and how it matters to Australia.

We also aim to support young Australian foreign policy experts focused on China, who are versed in Mandarin and committed to assessing China’s policies. We are currently hiring a Research Assistant. We also seek new interns.

Third National Meeting

The Third National Meeting of China Matters was convened in Sydney on 7 April 2016. Held in partnership with The University of Sydney Business School, the meeting brought together senior figures from business, policy and academia for off-the-record discussions of Australia-China relations. Participants formulated policy recommendations for the Australian government on each of the session topics.

Panellists included Mr Andrew Day, CEO, Hastings Fund Management; Mr John Fraser, Secretary, The Treasury; Mr Arthur Kroeber, Managing Director, Gavekal Dragonomics; Mr Richard Maude, Director-General of the Office of National Assessments; and Mr Brian Wilson, Chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board.

The three sessions focused on:

  • Do China’s regional ambitions threaten Australia’s interests?
  • Has the Chinese government lost control of core areas of the economy? What are the implications for Australian business? How should Australia respond?
  • Is there a problem with Chinese money?

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