Why China Matters

China is important to Australia. It is essential for Australia to get its relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) right. China Matters strives to inject alternative views to mainstream public commentary about Australia-China relations, deepen Australia’s understanding of developments in the PRC, and thereby strengthen Australia’s capacity to develop more effective policies toward the PRC.


Read ‘A New China Narrative for Australia’ 


img description Policy Brief

In the latest China Matters Explores, Melissa Conley Tyler and Julian Dusting argue that Australia’s foreign interference and espionage laws are flawed. They are too widely cast – subjecting new areas of activity to national security scrutiny. The laws scrutinise links and connections, rather than improper conduct. They have had demonstrable negative impacts on Australia’s relations with the PRC and on individual Chinese Australians.

Read the full brief here.

China Matters does not have an institutional view; the views expressed here are the authors’.

img description Event Update

Unfortunately, due to stay at home orders for the City of Sydney Local Government Area the event, Rethinking China with Louise Edwards on 30 June at PwC Australia will not be going ahead.

If you have purchased a ticket for this event, you may hold on to it for the rescheduled event at a future date or contact us for a refund at [email protected].

We will keep you informed about the rescheduled date and future Rethinking China lectures.

Watch or listen to previous Rethinking China lectures here.

img description In the news

China Matters supporters circle on AUKUS:

China Matters Board Director, Allan Gyngell, warns the capability nuclear-powered submarines offer “is only available to us if we cede quite a high degree of Australian sovereignty”.

China Matters Associate, Hugh White, writes the replacement of the Collins-class boats will be “riskier, costlier and slower”.

Read more op-eds from our supporters circle here.

China Matters does not have an institutional view; the views expressed here are the author’s.

Our Goals

China Matters is an Australian policy institute, established in 2014 to inform public and elite opinions and recommend solid Australian policy on the complexities of Australia’s relationship with the PRC. We have done this by publishing policy briefs and reports, promoting opinion pieces; bringing together senior policy makers, business executives and university leaders to contemplate policy recommendations; and offering elected officials an opportunity to learn more about the PRC.

Looking ahead China Matters’ analysis will continue to focus on specific PRC policies and the consequences of China’s rise. The ongoing goal of our public outreach work will be to contribute nuance and realism into discussions about Australia-China relations and inject alternative views into the public narrative about the PRC, which support a pragmatic relationship with the PRC while protecting Australia’s interests.

Our Work

Our flagship publication,  China Matters Explores, a policy brief series started in 2017, has contributed to the public debate on individual tough issues in Australia’s relationship with the PRC. The recommendations of another impactful China Matters publication, ‘A New China Narrative for Australia’ (2019), are still relevant, despite a deterioration in Australia-China relations. Visit our Analysis & Opinions pages for these publications as well as select opinion pieces by our supporter circle. China Matters does not have an institutional view.

Our in-person lecture series in Sydney: “Rethinking China” features speakers of diverse expertise and background with the aim to inject breadth and depth into the public discussion about the PRC.

Since 2015 China Matters has hosted nine closed-door National Meetings for senior representatives from government, business and academia. At these meetings tough issues related to the PRC have been debated and policy recommendations formulated. Bilateral challenges have also been discussed at 22 China policy dinners, often bringing together a Federal Government department head with senior business executives and university leaders, and at China Matters in Parliament forums for elected officials.

We have also organised two China Study Tours to help elected officials and business leaders better understand the rise of the PRC and the complexities of the Australia-PRC relationship.

Our Key Partners

We are grateful to our partners 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 work, please contact us.

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