Tensions, contradictions and opportunities: Australia’s relationship with President Xi’s China
China under President Xi is different from the China which Australia from Prime Ministers Whitlam to Turnbull envisioned. In 2019, China is a global power on the rise, more assertive and often aggressive; more powerful and more willing to use its power; less democratic and more authoritarian and less tolerant of dissent at home and abroad (including in Australia); and even more riddled with economic, political and social contradictions than in the past twenty years. It is also as entrepreneurial, creative and hard-working as it has been over centuries.
Australia in 2019 is also changing rapidly – its demography, economy and strategic outlook are in flux. So how will Australia shape its relationship with China, and how will China shape Australia, as both countries recalibrate their perceptions of each other amidst a historic geopolitical, economic and technological disruption?