Panel 2: Security and International Relations


Jingdong Yuan (Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney)

Dr. Jingdong Yuan is Associate Professor at the Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney. Professor Yuan specializes in Indo-Pacific security, Chinese defense and foreign policy, and global and regional arms control and non-proliferation issues. He has held visiting appointments at the Mercator Institute for China Studies, National University of Singapore, University of Macau, East-West Center, National Cheng-chi University, and worked at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies between 1999 and 2010. He is co-author of A Low-Visibility Force Multiplier (2014) and China and India: Cooperation or Conflict? (2003), and co-editor of Australia and China at 40 (2012). His publications have appeared in Asian Survey, Contemporary Security Policy, International Affairs, International Herald Tribune, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Journal of Contemporary China, Los Angeles Times, The Nonproliferation Review, The Washington Quarterly, among others. He is currently working on a book manuscript on China’s relations with South Asia.


  • Linda Jakobson (CEO and Funding Director of China Matters)

Linda Jakobson is the CEO and Founding Director of China Matters, an independent public policy initiative which aims to stimulate a nuanced and informed public discourse in Australia about China’s rise and its implications for Australia. From 2011 to 2013, she served as the Lowy Institute's East Asia Program Director. Before moving to Sydney in 2011, she lived and worked in China for 22 years and published six books on Chinese and East Asian society. Her last position in Beijing was as Director of the China and Global Security Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Over the past three decades she has served as a policy advisor to the governments of seven countries. Her most recent book, written with Dr Bates Gill, is China Matters: Getting It Right for Australia (La Trobe University Press / Black Inc., 2017). Her current research focuses on Australia-China ties and China’s foreign and security policy.

Presentation Title:
Australia’s conundrum: the PRC and the regional order

In June, Malcolm Turnbull gave his first major foreign policy address as prime minister at the Shangri-La Dialogue. He said that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will play a larger role in shaping the region, but it should do so ‘in a way which strengthens the regional order that has served us all so well’. Earlier in March, foreign minister Julie Bishop had expressed a similar position during her Fullerton Lecture in Singapore.

Here lies a conundrum. Australian public statements about the PRC’s right to have more say in regional affairs always stipulate a commitment to the rules-based order. While these statements sound appealing, no one spells out that the PRC had no role in shaping this order. It is an order dominated by the United States and underpinned by its military power.

It is also not the regional order the PRC wants any longer. This does not mean that the PRC necessarily aims to overturn the current order, but we must realise that the PRC does not want the same rules-based order that Australia deems as advantageous for Australia.

  • Han Feng (Australian Studies Centre, China Academy of Social Sciences)

Professor Han Feng is the Senior Research Fellow (Professor) of National Institute of International Strategy (NIIS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). He graduated from the Department of International Politics, Peking University in 1982.  He has been working in CASS since 1984, in Institute of World Economics and Politics (Oct. 1986 - Dec. 1988) and in Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (IAPS Dec. 1988 – Nov. 2010) , the National Institute of International Strategy (NIIS Dec. 2010-April 2017) respectively. He has been the Deputy Director-General from 2010-2016 in IAPS and NIIS. His research area is the current international relations in the Asia-Pacific region, especially Australia studies, the relations among the ASEAN nations and with outside powers and the regional security. He used to be a Visiting Scholar, both in University of Tasmania, Australia (March, 1994 — April, 1995) and in the Conflict Management Program, Uppsala University, Sweden (April 1998 — May, 1998). He has been the Vice President for Chinese Association of Asia-Pacific Studies and for China Association of Southeast Asia Studies since the year of 2009 and 2000.

Title of Presentation:

Chinese and Australia: Simplicity and Complexity


The general Sino-Australian bilateral relations are both much better than that in the time of diplomatic relations 45 years ago. We have better understandings beyond the each other’s interests.    

The currently problem is the bilateral relations going along with the regional and global interaction since we are in transition after “9.11” and global economic crisis.   

China and Australia are from the complementarity to the economic cooperation and political competition.  Engagement, bridge, alliance, regional integration, etc., have been the Australian choices with the Western value and alliance.  Chinese choice is more simple and focusing: the Western + East Asia model for Chinese industrialization have been to the end so as to carry out the second round of reform. 

On the bilateral level, we have an imbalance relationship always in term of population, economic power and national size.  Therefore, China has much less sensitive while Australia is getting sensitive.

Way out:  1 keeping a good relation for USA and China;2 focusing more on the regional building for the integration;3 combining the regional experience with the Western value or localization; 4 maintaining the regional disputes in status quo;5 cooperating for the bilateral industrial structure, together with P2P.

  • Yi Wang (School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science,Griffith University)

Dr. Yi Wang is the author of “Australia-China Relations post 1949: Sixty Years of Trade and Politics” (Ashgate/Routledge, 2012), the only sole-authored book covering the bilateral relationship from the inception of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 to the present era, and of its Chinese sequel published under the same title (Social Sciences Academic Press, 2014). A member of the Griffith Asia Institute, Dr. Wang also teaches Chinese-English translation in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Griffith University. Before his recent entry to academia, Dr. Wang had worked in various professional roles related to his current research and teaching, including foreign affairs and international media. He had been a Producer with the BBC World Service in London before taking up a leadership post at SBS Melbourne. He had also served in the diplomatic service in Beijing, including stints as a top-level interpreter for national and international leaders.

Title of Presentation:
History of Australia’s China Policy and Future Implications


Through a brief review of the history of Australia’s China policy from the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 to the present day, this presentation seeks to uncover recurring themes of the bilateral relationship in the modern era in order to shed light on the current debates about Australia’s choices in the face of China’s rise. In doing so, some useful lessons from the past may be drawn as a guide to future discussions on Australia-China relations.