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 Australia’s research collaboration with the PRC?’ by Jeremy Stevens. 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
China Matters has mobilised a diverse group of Australian policy thinkers to formulate a “new” narrative for the incoming Australian government. Rather than find fault and point out current failings, we felt it more prudent to explore what a new China narrative might look like.
China Matters will launch a next-to-final draft of Australia’s New China Narrative at the National Press Club Canberra at lunchtime on 26 March 2019.
This launch will begin a two-month long dynamic editing and review process during which we will solicit comment on the draft from specialists and the Australian public. The final version of ‘Australia’s New China Narrative’ will be presented to the new Australian government.
Sixth Young Professionals Debate, Sydney:
Does the People’s Republic of China pose a threat to academic freedom in Australia?
On 5 December 2018 China Matters held its sixth Young Professionals Debate in Sydney.
YP Debates bring together two young professionals and two special guests to debate a challenge facing the Australia-China relationship from the perspective of business and government.
The latest edition of our policy brief series China Matters Explores focuses on Australia’s research collaboration with the PRC.
The author, Jeremy Stevens, argues that while there are risks associated in certain areas of Australian-PRC research collaboration, these risks can be effectively mitigated, and the two countries should expand research cooperation in areas of mutual benefit.
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.