It’s been a week of contrasts when it comes to Australia’s evolving relationship with China.
A multi-million dollar tourism campaign was launched in Shanghai to attract more middle-class Chinese visitors to Australia. At almost the same time the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre was remembered, mainly by those outside China because of the ongoing sensitivity that surrounds the incident.
And then later in the week came reports of mobile phones and laptops being left in Hong Kong by Defence Minister Stephen Smith and his entourage—allegedly because of security concerns—during the first visit of a serving Australian defence minister to China since 2007.
For his own part, our former ambassador to China and now private business adviser Geoff Raby has stirred the pot on what he’s termed ‘the deep existential dilemma each side sees in the relationship’, in a piece written to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and China.