A welcome statement on Australian relations with China by Prime Minister Morrison

At a ‘Chinese community luncheon event’ at Hurstville on 4 October 2018, Prime Minister Morrison spelt out clearly the importance of a ‘mutual beneficial relationship’ between Australia and China. 

This speech received wide coverage in the Chinese media in Australia, but minimal coverage in our mainstream English language media. This was very strange. 

A group of former Australian diplomats and those closely involved in our relations with China decided that we should publicly record and support Prime Minister Morrison’s statement. See below. (John Menadue)  


My dear Prime Minister,

We the undersigned commend you for your remarks at Hurstville on 4 October 2018 stating your government’s ‘absolute’ commitment to furthering the relationship between Australia and the People’s Republic of China ‘based on our shared values and mutual respect’. Adherence to these oft stated principles provides the basis for a dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship between our two governments and peoples, in which we as individuals pledge to pay our part.


Garry Woodard, former Australian Ambassador to PRC and Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs.
Mack Williams, former Australian Ambassador to the Philippines and the ROK.
Alison Broinowski, former diplomat in the Philippines and Jordan and Director Australia Japan Foundation
Richard Woolcott, former Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, the UN and Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
John Menadue, former Australian Ambassador to Japan and Fellow AIIA
Stephen FitzGerald, first Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, currently Chair, China Matters, and Distinguished Fellow, Whitlam Institute.
Andrew Farran, former diplomat and trade policy adviser,
Ramesh Thakur, Emeritus Professor, Australian National University and former United Nations Assistant Secretary General.
Geoff Miller, former Australian Ambassador to Japan and Korea and Director General of the Office of National Assessments.
Geoff Raby, former Australian Ambassador to PRC.
Richard Butler, former Australian Ambassador to Thailand and to the UN.
Jocelyn Chey, Professor in the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture, Western Sydney University and a retired Australian diplomat whose last posting was Consul General in Hong Kong.
Geoffrey Bentley, former Australian Ambassador to the Russian Federation and former Consul General in Hong Kong.
John McCarthy, former Australian Ambassador to Japan and Indonesia, High Commissioner to India and past National President of AIIA
Wanning Sun is Professor of Media and Communications at UTS.
Cavan Hogue was formerly Australian Ambassador to USSR, Russia, Thailand and Mexico and High Commissioner to Malaysia.

The speech by Prime Minister Morrison at Hurstville was translated into Chinese and widely circulated on social media, including many Chinese scholars of Australia studying in China. The full speech was posted on the Australian Embassy website in Beijing.

It was posted on John Menadue’s blog, Pearls & Irritations, ‘SCOTT MORRISON. Speech at Chinese-Australian Community Event’. The background to the speech was also examined in Pearls and Irritations by WANNING SUN. PM Morrison’s Strange Speech to China and the Chinese: A Selective Charm Offensive?


John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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