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Australia-China at forty: a stretch of the imagination

By 14 October 2012 9

Event Schedule
  • 1 November 2012 at 6:00 pm

Dr Stephen FitzGerald will discuss issues for Australia within the over-arching Australia-China relationship: the leadership of ideas, strategic views, public policy debate and decision-making, including decisions about the US that affect Australia’s relations with China. He suggests it will take a stretch of the imagination for Australia to have a real view of political China and the kind of political relationship we need, but do not yet have. A substantially upgraded political relationship is critical not only because of the strategic challenges of China’s ascension, but also for managing complexities in Chinese foreign policy-making. He proposes that for an effective over-arching strategy, Australia needs a revival of the national conversation on identity and values, a wide-ranging national assessment of China, a greater contribution to the public policy debate by China scholars, and government preparedness to engage with that public debate.

Dr FitzGerald began his professional career as a diplomat, studied Chinese and became a career China specialist. He was China adviser to Gough Whitlam and Australia’s first Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Since the late 1960s, he has worked for policy reform in Australia’s relations with Asia, and for Asia Literacy for Australians. He was head of the ANU Department of Far Eastern History and also of its Contemporary China Centre in the 1970s. He chaired the 1980 government Committee to Advise on Australia’s Immigration Policies, which wrote the landmark report Immigration. A Commitment to Australia. He has been consultant to the Queensland and Northern Territory governments on the introduction of Asian languages to the school curriculum, and consultant to Monash, Melbourne and Griffith universities on mainstreaming Asia in university studies. He has also been a consultant on governance-related aid in China and Southeast Asia for the Federal and Northern Territory governments, and the governments of Britain, Denmark and others. He is currently researching change in Australia’s policies and attitudes towards Asia from the 1960s to the present.

When: Thursday 1 November, 6–8pm
Where: The Finkel Lecture Theatre, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Garran Road, The Australian National University

Light refreshments will be provided from 5.15–6pm.

Click here to register.

Enquiries: E events@anu.edu.au T 02 6125 4144

Free and open to the public

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9 Responses to
Australia-China at forty: a stretch of the imagination
Masquara 10:31 am
14 Oct 12
#1

What does this topic have to do with Canberra?

54-11 12:10 pm
14 Oct 12
#2

Masquara said :

What does this topic have to do with Canberra?

Um, perhaps because it is an event taking place in Canberra? And it’s run by the leading Australian university which happens to be based in Canberra. And perhaps many Canberrans have an interest in the subject, as after all our Foreign Affairs, Trade, Ausaid and other institutions with a close involvement with China are also based here.

Dingoman25 12:40 pm
14 Oct 12
#3

Masquara said :

What does this topic have to do with Canberra?

Probably not much, but there’s a good chance quite a few Canberrans will be interested in attending.

Duffbowl 1:43 pm
14 Oct 12
#4

Masquara said :

What does this topic have to do with Canberra?

Oh how this has to do with Canberra, let me count the ways….
- Being held at the ANU. Last time I checked, that’s one of Canberra’s universities.
- Concerns diplomatic ties. Canberra is the home of the diplomatic community in Australia.
- Chinese bureaucratic views on the value of a capital. China has a long history of viewing the capital of a country as the focus, even during events where some forms of power and control have been devolved to provincial capitals or cities.
- Dr FitzGerald has a long association with Canberra. Read the story; you’ll see what I mean.
- Concerns governmental business with China. Last time I checked, the majority of AusGov functions were still being run out of Canberra.

HenryBG 2:01 pm
14 Oct 12
#5

Chinese should be a compulsory subject at school, just as English is in most other places.

The lack of language skills in this country leads the rest of the world to regard us as a nation of boofheads and boors.

JimCharles 4:13 pm
14 Oct 12
#6

HenryBG said :

Chinese should be a compulsory subject at school, just as English is in most other places.

The lack of language skills in this country leads the rest of the world to regard us as a nation of boofheads and boors.

There was a poster campaign in Chinese airports last year:
“There are more people in China studying a degree in English than there are people in England”.

So, about 50 million, or two and half times the population of Australia? Frightening thought….they won’t even need interpreters soon.

bundah 7:20 pm
14 Oct 12
#7

HenryBG said :

Chinese should be a compulsory subject at school, just as English is in most other places.

The lack of language skills in this country leads the rest of the world to regard us as a nation of boofheads and boors.

Well we wouldn’t want to disappoint them :)

Masquara 7:44 pm
14 Oct 12
#8

Duffbowl said :

Masquara said :

What does this topic have to do with Canberra?

Oh how this has to do with Canberra, let me count the ways….
- Being held at the ANU. Last time I checked, that’s one of Canberra’s universities.
- Concerns diplomatic ties. Canberra is the home of the diplomatic community in Australia.
- Chinese bureaucratic views on the value of a capital. China has a long history of viewing the capital of a country as the focus, even during events where some forms of power and control have been devolved to provincial capitals or cities.
- Dr FitzGerald has a long association with Canberra. Read the story; you’ll see what I mean.
- Concerns governmental business with China. Last time I checked, the majority of AusGov functions were still being run out of Canberra.

All true – but the TOPIC isn’t local or relevant. Fine to see it in the weekly “what’s on” post, which is where most of these arcane types of things seem to be posted. Making this an actual topic is watering down what RiotAct is for. I read it thinking there must be some Canberra angle. From what I’ve observed of the site over the last seven years, ALL topics are directly related to Canberra. In a few instances JB has specified the “Canberra” reason for posting a topic, when it hasn’t been obvious. However, if JB wants to broaden RiotAct out and dilute it, that’s his call!

Jazz 8:59 pm
14 Oct 12
#9

Actually its my call, JB just runs the editorial desk more often than I do.

In this case i thought it was borderline but given i was kind of bored of posting political stories it got a run.

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