The La Trobe University China Oration

Last Updated:2019-12-04

Arguably, the Australia-China relationship has reached its lowest point in the past 47 years of Australia's diplomatic relations with China. An Australian Prime Minister has not visited China since 2016, and then that was only for a multilateral APEC meeting. The last visit by a Chinese leader to Australia was in 2015. Previously, both governments were committed to annual high-level visits. In a system that is hierarchical and where all direction in foreign relations comes from the very top, this damages Australia's interests. Apart from what it might cost Australia economically, Australia now has no voice in Beijing when it comes to issues such as regional peace and security, our concerns over Hong Kong,and human rights. This Oration considers how did things

come to this and what can be done to position ourselves more effectively.