COVID-19 and Aus-China relationship’s zombie economic idea
How exposed is Australia’s economy to the PRC? Is this level of exposure serving Australia’s national interest?
Beyond challenges in the realm of public health, the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused a wave of disruption for economies the world over, including Australia and its largest trading partner, the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Long lurking in the shadow of the bilateral economic relationship between Australia and the PRC is a zombie economic idea – an economic idea that should have been laid to rest by an accumulation of facts and evidence, but which continues to stalk public policy debate: that Australian entities engaging heavily with the PRC market are irresponsible, and that at a national level, Australia is too dependent on the PRC. This is often accompanied by calls for the Australian government to force a diversification of Australia’s economic relationships. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen this zombie economic idea injected with a fresh dose of un-life.
How exposed is Australia’s economy to the PRC? What is behind this exposure? Is this level of exposure serving Australia’s national interest? Should Australian entities continue to engage extensively with the PRC? What are the prospects for greater diversification of Australia’s economic relationships in the near future?
The Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI) will be launching a report tackling these questions and more in a webinar featuring lead author, Professor James Laurenceson, Director of UTS:ACRI, in conversation with Rowan Callick OBE, author of Party Time: Who runs China and how, former China correspondent for The Australian, and UTS:ACRI Advisory Board member. An audience Q&A will follow.
The report ‘COVID-19 and the Australia-China relationship’s zombie economic idea’ by James Laurenceson and Michael Zhou will be published on May 7. It will be available on the UTS:ACRI website.
About the speakers
Professor James Laurenceson is Director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at UTS.
He has previously held appointments at the University of Queensland (Australia), Shandong University (China) and Shimonoseki City University (Japan). He was President of the Chinese Economics Society of Australia from 2012-2014.
His academic research has been published in leading scholarly journals including China Economic Review and China Economic Journal.
Professor Laurenceson also provides regular commentary on contemporary developments in China’s economy and the Australia-China economic relationship. His opinion pieces have appeared in The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, South China Morning Post, amongst many others.
Author, columnist and UTS:ACRI Advisory Board member Rowan Callick worked for almost 20 years for The Australian Financial Review, finally as Asia Pacific Editor. He was China Correspondent for the AFR, based in Hong Kong, from 1996-2000. From 1990-1992 he was a senior writer with Time magazine. He worked for The Australian from the start of 2006 until mid-2018, twice serving as China Correspondent in Beijing, and also as Asia-Pacific Editor. He continues to write regularly for the newspaper.
Rowan is a board member of the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, and a member of the Advisory Boards of La Trobe University's Asia Institute and of its China Studies Department. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and an Industry Fellow at Griffith University’s Asia Institute.
He has written three books published in both English and Chinese, including Comrades & Capitalists: Hong Kong Since the Handover (UNSW Press, 1998); and Party Time: Who Runs China and How (Black Inc, 2013) in Australia, then internationally as The Party Forever (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). He won the Graham Perkin Award for Journalist of the Year for 1995, and two Walkley Awards, for Asia-Pacific coverage, for 1997 and 2007. He was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to journalism and to the training of PNG journalists.