Professor Chen Hong's Perspective on the Australia China Relationship.
To put it mildly, the Australia China Relationship has been under growing strain in the past 12 months.
Recently, China suspended high level economic dialogue between the two countries; Australia fears other important trade sectors will be targeted while China has issues with its investments in Australia and its Belt and Road Agreement concluded with the Victorian Government has been quashed by the Australian Federal Government.
After a strong economic and cultural engagement spanning decades, the relationship has changed, reflecting China’s greater global influence and expanding ambitions under President Xi Jinping. The Covid-19 pandemic and Australia’s desire to investigate its origins, appeared to be the last straw for China.
Tensions between Australia and China are at an all time high. The then-special forces commander Major-General Adam Findlay who still advises the Australian Defence Force, believes a conflict with China is a ‘high likelihood’.
Professor Chen Hong who has devoted a life of study to Australia and its literature, had his Australian visa abruptly cancelled on the orders of the Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation last August.
He has been director of the Australian studies centre at the East China Normal University in Shanghai since 2001 and was a frequent visitor to Australia.
Former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam invited Professor Hong to Australia in 1991, and in 1994 was asked to translate for another former Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, during a visit to China.
Asia Pacific Today. May 25, 2021.
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