China: Perspectives beyond the mainstream media

Aug 28, 2023
2023 Chinese fortune cookies. Cookies with white blank and 2023 text inside for prediction words.

China looms large in the Australian psyche. On a practical level, what happens in China largely determines the success of global action to deal with climate change, the profitability of our rural economy and the financing of our universities. Our national leaders are concerned about rising tensions in our region and the interplay of US-China relations. How are we to find our way through media doom and gloom and come to grips with the reality of China?

Pearls and Irritations offers one of the few avenues for alternative perspectives on the complex issues of Chinese domestic developments and bilateral and international relations. Over the next few months, we have invited some leading experts and commentators in various fields to contribute their views and share their experiences of dealing with China.

We shall not gloss over the difficulties or hide the problems, but we shall also avoid the constant negativity of the mainstream media who unfailingly put the worst possible construction on any news about China. We shall highlight the upside of collaboration and exchange. In this way, we hope to present to the concerned reader a more balanced view of developments in China and point the way forward for Australia-China relations.

Those relations must, both now and in the future, be based on what is best for Australia, its people, its culture and its economy. They must also take into account existing regional and international commitments, although these should not be the sole determinant of our decisions about how to engage with our important neighbour.

These matters are urgent. Over the next few months, we shall see a new ambassador posted to China and more high-level government contacts, possibly including a visit to Beijing by Prime Minister Albanese. Both China and Australia have to engage and hopefully agree to work towards resolution of pressing international problems – the war in Ukraine, global warming, food security, pandemic control, nuclear proliferation, cyber security and many other issues.

There is no time to waste.


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The rise of China’s “Australianists”: game-changing opportunity for bilateral relations

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