Why China Matters
China is important to Australia’s future. It is essential for Australia to get its relationship with the People’s Republic of 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 the PRC 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 the PRC.
China Matters was established to stimulate a realistic and nuanced discussion of the PRC 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 the PRC.
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 the rise of the People’s Republic of China and how it matters to Australia.
We also think it is important to engage with people interested in the PRC under the age of 35 who are working in the public or private sector. This is achieved through our China Matters Young Professionals project. We also strive to support young aspiring Australian foreign policy experts through our 40-day internship program.
China Matters hosts biannual national meetings to bring together a diverse set of senior representatives from government, business and academia. We regularly engage with parliamentary representatives at our China Matters in Parliament forum. Our aim is to formulate recommendations to strengthen Australian policy toward China. Check out our Seventh National Meeting, held in the Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House.
China Matters board directors, advisory council and team members regularly publish commentary in Australian media which can be viewed on our public outreach page.
We now have our own policy brief publication China Matters Explores. This series focuses on individual tough issues in Australia’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China. Check out our latest edition, ‘Is there a problem with the PRC’s debt?’ by Dinny McMahon. Previous editions include, ‘Is there a problem with Australia’s China narrative?’, co-authored by board directors, Stephen FitzGerald and Linda Jakobson.
Recent activities, policy briefs and events
Sixth Young Professionals Debate, Sydney:
Does the People’s Republic of China pose a threat to academic freedom in Australia?
YP Debates bring together two young professionals and two special guests (to be announced) to debate a challenge facing the Australia-China relationship from the perspective of business and government.
Date: Wednesday 5 December 2018
Time: Arrival: 6:00pm
Debate: 6:30pm – 7:45pm
Networking Drinks: 7:45pm – 8:30pm
Location: Sydney (venue TBC)
RSVP: Please RSVP here
China Matters CEO Linda Jakobson had an in-depth discussion with Opposition Leader The Hon Bill Shorten on 17 October at Parliament House. They spoke at length about political and economic developments in the PRC, as well as US-PRC tensions and their corresponding impact on Australia-PRC tensions.
A key objective of China Matters is to help Australian elected officials better understand the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the complexities of the Australia-PRC relationship. This inaugural study tour was one of many activities China Matters undertaken to fulfil this goal.
China Matters is hiring!
We are recruiting a full-time Sydney-based Policy Analyst. The successful candidate will have
experience in research and analysis of the PRC and/or the Australia-China relationship.
Our Key Supporters
We are grateful to our supporters for making possible the research, publication, and outreach work of China Matters. We would like to do more. If you share our goals and would like to contribute financial support to our project, please contact Linda Jakobson.