Video Recording: How to Navigate a Two-speed Relationship: Official and Unofficial Exchanges with China

This conversation will explore possible scenarios for bilateral relations with China over the next couple of years with and without engagement. While the decline of the relationship over the past three years has been well documented, many options for the future remain to be considered. Speakers include Michael Smith, China correspondent for the Australian Financial Review, and Dr Geoff Raby, Director of Geoff Raby Associates and former ambassador to China (2007-2011). Michael Smith, who had to return to Australia from his posting in China recently, subsequently had a rare interview with Madame Fu Ying, former Chinese ambassador to Australia, at a time when there has been no senior level direct communications between the two governments for several years. Is this a sign “that China is looking to put a floor under the continuing downward spiral in the relationship”, as Dr Raby has observed? Are there common grounds on which the two countries can build a mutually beneficial relationship while still according proper concern to issues such as national security, foreign interference and international human rights?

The speakers with their first-hand knowledge of China will share their insights and discuss what steps individuals and institutions can take to keep existing relations vibrant and meaningful. The conversation will be moderated by Professor Jing Han, Director of Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture at Western Sydney University.