Jackson Kwok examines how the PRC’s state-owned media reacted to Australia’s latest foreign policy white paper.
Hannah Bretherton, project coordinator and researcher at China Matters, analyses the current complacency on Australia’s part towards its relationship with China, in light of the progress New Zealand has made with the nation regarding their bilateral Free Trade Agreement. She examines the interconnectedness between the economic opportunities that China offers and the concern of strategic intentions that may underlie these policies, and argues that more needs to be done if Australia is to truly prosper from its relationship with China.
Jackson Kwok, Research Assistant at China Matters, reports on how the Chinese state media covered Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Australia in March. He highlights the state media’s focus on portraying China as the defender of economic globalisation, and analyses how state media coverage provided hints at how Beijing sees its evolving relationship with Canberra.
In a piece published in SBS News, Andrea Booth quotes China Matters Young Professional Dougal Robinson on US President Donald Trump’s ambitious legislative agenda which he outlined during his first speech to Congress.
Mr Robinson argues that President Trump’s plan to inject $1 trillion to US infrastructure and create millions of new jobs “will likely be frustrated by the slow moving legislative progress in Congress”. However, he said that if President Trump “can enact this major infrastructure reform it would be a big achievement for him”.
Sinclaire Prowse, of the CSIS Pacific Forum, explores the details of the telephone call between President Trump and Prime Minister Turnbull, and assesses the current nature of the Australia-US alliance. With an unknown future for the relationship, many fear “that this uncertainty could force a reassessment of Australia’s policy toward China”. Prowse outlines the underpinnings of the Australia-US relationship and offers tangible steps the two countries should take in order to strengthen the alliance.
Elena Collinson says its belligerent tone exposes the Trump administration as out of touch, and Australia must urge restraint as well as underline changing regional realities
In an article published in Xinhua, Will Koulouris argues that “For as long as there has been agriculture in Australia, after the European settlement in 1788, foreign investment has remained crucial to ensuring the viability of the industry.” He quotes China Matters Project Coordinator and Researcher Hannah Bretherton who states that “In Australia, we have a capital shortfall of about 850 billion, just in agriculture. We need foreign investment, there’s no getting around that.”
Jacinta Keast, China Fellow for Young Australians in International Affairs, explores China’s current global position. Keast offers multiple perspectives on the effects of a Trump presidency on US-China relations, with reference to the South China Sea and the One China policy in particular. With the uncertainty of a Trump administration, Keast questions whether China will be able to defend its ‘core interests’ in the coming years.
President Trump signed several alarming executive orders in his first week of office, including withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Putting the argument over the merits of the trade agreement aside, this decision has been interpreted as a slap in the face for the doctrine of free trade and a renouncement of US economic leadership.
One interesting response has been a new narrative developing around China’s President Xi Jinping as champion of the liberal economic order and promoter of globalisation and free trade.
China Matters Young Professional Dougal Robinson writes in the Australian Financial Review this week regarding new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mr Robinson believes that Tillerson’s considerable experience in overseas negotiations, knowledge of the region and policy views which are more traditional than much of the new administration will leave him well prepared for the role.
Robinson’s generally positive view of Tillerson is tempered by the observation that “Tillerson and Trump agree on just one major foreign policy issue: they both favour a tougher stance towards China.” He argues that Australia will have to seek to shape Tillerson’s thinking on this issue or find it increasingly difficult to maintain the foreign policy mantra of an “ally in Washington” and a “friend in Beijing.”