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The Australian National University

The CIW-Lowy China Forum

The China Forum was launched in August 2011 by the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) and the East Asia Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. It aims to bring together diplomats, professionals and academics to discuss developments within China and their impact on Australia and the region.

The China Forum is a continuation in modified form of the China Forum discussion series which the Lowy Institute Executive Director Dr Michael Wesley hosted in 2010. CIW and the East Asia Program are collaborating on this initiative and plan to host once a month – in either Canberra or Sydney – a roundtable discussion related to developments within China and how they affect the region and Australia. Other institutions in Australia are also welcome to co-host a China Forum.

For more information please contact Jasmine Lin at

China Forum Discussions

'China and the World After the 18th Party Congress'
Dr Bobo Lo
Friday 15 March 2013 CIW

The Australian National University
Coombs Extension LT 1.04
Fellows Road, ANU
RSVP by 5pm Monday 11 March 2013
to (seating is limited)

Chinese foreign policy finds itself at a crossroads. It has become evident that the mantras of 'peaceful development', 'a harmonious world' and 'win-win solutions' are no longer sufficient to counteract increasingly negative perceptions of China in many parts of the world. There are serious tensions with neighbours, and talk even of eventual confrontation with the United States. More generally, the narrative of the 'China opportunity' is giving way to a reprise of the 'China threat'. In this unreceptive and often hostile environment, the new Xi Jinping leadership faces huge challenges in advancing China's interests and refashioning its international image.

In his talk, Bobo Lo will discuss several questions of particular importance to China's future in the 21st century world. What is the nature of China's relationship to the 'new world disorder' - an international context more fluid and volatile than at any time since the end of the Cold War? What are the main influences shaping Chinese foreign policy today, and how far are core principles, such as the doctrine of 'non-interference', susceptible to change? What does the next decade hold for China's key bilateral relationships, in particular with the United States? And how should Western policy-makers engage with a China that is at once more capable, complex and unpredictable?

'China, Amer ica and Strategic Soft Balancing'
Dr Marc Lanteigne
Monday 25 February 2013 CIW
3:00pm – 5:00pm

The Australian National University
Coombs Extension LT 1.04
Fellows Road, ANU
RSVP by 5pm Monday 18 February 2013
to (seating is limited)

Western strategic interests, especially those of the United States, have traditionally dominated foreign relations throughout much of the South Pacific region, giving rise to the popular perception throughout much of the twentieth century that the Pacific was essentially an 'American Lake'. While American diplomacy and strategy has played a prominent role in the area, much regional policy was also shaped by US allies, Australia and New Zealand, particularly in the areas of aid and assistance but also occasionally in security policies. This old order is now being challenged in a variety of ways by the expanded diplomacy of the People's Republic of China, which over the past decade has accelerated its political and economic presence throughout the Pacific.

This engagement has included Chinese nonpartisan aid to regional governments in the form of loans, grants and infrastructure projects, as well as financial and political support for Pacific organisations. Beijing's presence in the region has resulted in concerns in the West about the inevitability of great power competition in the Pacific, especially as the United States seeks to promote its own interests in the region, following many years of detachment. While direct confrontation between great powers in the South Pacific is unlikely, China's presence has led to 'soft balancing', meaning balance of power policies which fall short of military means and instead involve trade, aid and diplomatic engagement. The rise of China, the return of the United States, and regional policy changes in Australia and New Zealand will have considerable effects not only on the South Pacific as a whole, but also on the governance and development of individual states in the region.

Dr Marc Lanteigne is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science and International Relations and Research Director at the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington. His work examines Chinese foreign policy and institutional cooperation, as well as comparative strategic studies. He is the author of China and International Institutions: Alternate Paths to Global Power and Chinese Foreign Policy: An Introduction. He has also written numerous articles on the international relations and security interests of China and the Asia-Pacific.

'China and North Korea in the Kim Jong-un Era'
Dr Leonid Petrov
Dr Justin Hastings

Friday 23 November 2012 CIW
1:00pm – 3:00pm

The Australian National University
Coombs Seminar Room C (building 9)
Fellows Road, ANU
RSVP by 5pm Tuesday 20 November 2012
to (seating is limited)

China is equivocal about North Korea in the Kim Jong-un era. In security matters, it prioritises North Korea's continued existence (or at least stability) above all else, and is willing to cooperate with North Korea on measures that will solidify stability. This prioritization comes at the cost of overall leverage over North Korea's actions and policies, although China continues to use its position to exercise displeasure in smaller ways. At the same time, China's government and business leaders are divided over what else to do, particularly in the economic sphere. China greatly desires North Korea to follow it along the path of reform and opening up, but Chinese businesses are reluctant to invest in North Korea (despite government prodding), and Chinese government officials are ambivalent about North Korean activities in China itself. What are the current expectations of DPRK leadership from the PRC, and how likely is that North Korea will be doing everything to please China in the future? These and other questions will be addressed by the two experts from the University of Sydney.

Dr Leonid Petrov graduated from St. Petersburg State University (1994) in Russia where he majored in Korean History and Language. He obtained a PhD in History at the Australian National University (2003) where he specialised in the studies of North Korea. In 2003-2005, he was a Korea Foundation post-doctoral fellow at the Academy of Korean Studies (Seongnam), lectured on Korean History at the Intercultural Institute of California (San Francisco) and Korean Economy at Keimyung University (Daegu). In 2006-2007, Dr Petrov acted as Chair of Korean Studies at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). In 2007, he became Research Associate at ANU School of International, Political & Strategic Studies where he worked on regional conflicts and paths for reconciliation with special focus on Korea. Since 2009, Dr. Petrov teaches Korean Studies at the School of Languages and Cultures, the University of Sydney.

Dr Justin Hastings teaches international relations (focusing on security issues) and comparative politics (focusing on Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia) at the University of Sydney. He was previously an assistant professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Hastings received an AB from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 2001, and a PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. He has published on China-related topics in China Quarterly, Problems of Post-Communism, and Issues & Studies. His book, No Man's Land: Globalization, Territory, and Clandestine Groups in Southeast Asia, was published by Cornell University Press in 2010. Hastings is currently working on a new research project on North Korean business networks.

'China's rise and the security order in Asia'
Dr Muthiah Alagappa
Wednesday 7 November 2012 Lowy
3:00pm – 5:00pm (refreshments will be served)

Lowy Institute for International Policy
31 Bligh Street Sydney
RSVP by Friday 2 November 2012
to (seating is limited)

Understanding how Asian nations are responding to China's new security role in Asia is a complex question. Professor Alagappa will discuss the current transformation of the security order in Asia, looking at how the diverse national interests across the region are being influenced by the changing roles of China and the United States.

Dr Muthiah Alagappa is Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Concurrently he is non-resident Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. He has held visiting professorships at Columbia University, Stanford University, Keio University, Nanyang Technological University, University of Bristol and Victoria University of Wellington. Dr Alagappa's research interests include comparative and international politics of Asia, and he has published widely in academic journals and traditional media.

'Recent Developments in Chinese Criminal Justice: A Study on Wrongful Convictions in Mainland China'
Professor He Jiahong (何家弘)
Tuesday 21 August 2012 CIW

Professor He Jiahong is a professor of law and Director of the Institute of Evidence at the Law School of Renmin University of China ('RUC'). His research interests include evidence law, criminal investigation, criminal procedure and comparative study of criminal justice systems. In 2006, Professor He was appointed as Deputy Director-General for the Department of Dereliction of Duties and Infringements on Human Rights, the Supreme People's Procuratorate of China. Professor He has written and edited numerous academic books and academic articles. A representative collection of his works has been published in 15 volumes in China. He has also had works published in English including a book called "Criminal Prosecution in the PRC and the USA: a Comparative Study" that was based on his doctoral thesis at Northwestern University, USA.

In this seminar Professor He Jiahong provides an overview of the most recent developments that have occurred in the Chinese criminal justice system focusing on the impact of miscarriages of justice on the discourse of legal reforms within China.

'Chinese Aid and Investment in the Pacific'
Ms Annmaree O'Keeffe
Dr Graeme Smith
Dr Philippa Brant
Friday 27 July 2012 CIW

Annmaree O’Keeffe AM is a research fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and also works as a strategic adviser with CRCI in Ottawa, Canada on international issues affecting indigenous peoples. Previously with AusAID from 1986 to 2009, her various positions included Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and Deputy Director General. She has served as Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal and was Minister-Counsellor for Development Assistance in Papua New Guinea. Before joining AusAID, Annmaree worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross as their international editor based initially in Bangkok and then Geneva. Annmaree is a founding board member of the Asia Pacific Business Coalition for AIDS and is on the coordinating committee of the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. She is also a jury member for the University of Queensland’s annual International Communications and Change Award.
Graeme Smith is a postdoctoral fellow in the China Studies Centre, University of Sydney Business School, and head of the China Urban Sustainability Taskforce. He is also a visiting fellow in the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at the Australian National University. His current research examines Chinese investment in the Asia-Pacific region, with ongoing projects in Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia. He has previously explored the demand for organic produce in Chinese urban centres, the political economy of service delivery in rural China, and the redistribution of land among Chinese farmers. Dr Smith also holds a PhD in environmental chemistry, is the author of several travel guides, and is the 2011 winner of the Gordon White Prize, awarded for the best article published in The China Quarterly.

Philippa Brant has recently been awarded her PhD at the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Melbourne. Her research investigates Chinese foreign aid and its impact on global development norms and practices. Her research interests also include South-South Cooperation, Chinese foreign policy, and China’s engagement in the South Pacific. Philippa was awarded an inaugural Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award (2010) and was a visiting researcher at the International Poverty Reduction Centre in China (IPRCC).

'China’s Evolving Views Towards International Intervention'
Mr Yang Razali Kassim
Professor Wanning Sun
Friday 29 June 2012 Lowy

Mr Yang Razali Kassim is presently a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute. He is a Senior Fellow with Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University and the RSIS' Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies where his research interests include politics and civil conflict in Southeast Asia, human security, and the responsibility to protect. He is also Editor of RSIS Commentaries.

Professor Wanning Sun is professor of Chinese media and cultural studies at the China Research Centre, University of Technology in Sydney. Her research focuses on the Chinese media, gender, migration, and social change in contemporary China, as well as diasporic Chinese media and cultural practices in response to China's going-global policy.

'China's Social Reforms and the Harmonious Society'
Professor Yu Keping,
Peking University
Friday, 18 May 2012 CIW

What is the background to China’s shift to social reform, and what are its implications? In this presentation, Professor Yu argues that economic marketization and its social repercussions provided the impetus, and necessary pressure, for the Hu-Wen Administration to initiate social reforms after the transfer of political power in 2002. The accumulation of social problems in China, the aspirations of the leadership to embed a “Scientific Outlook for Development” (kexue fazhanguan) and construct a “Harmonious Society” (hexie shehui), as well as the resultant society-state interactions, will continue to shape the trajectories of China’s social and political transformation.

Yu Keping (俞可平) is Professor and Director of the China Center for Comparative Politics and Economics (CCCPE), and also Professor and Director of the Center for Chinese Government Innovations, Peking University and the Institute of Political Development, Tsinghua University. Professor Yu received his PHD in political science from Peking University in 1988 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Duisburg-Essen University, Germany in 2008. He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Translation of the CCP Central Committee. He is also Director of the Chinese Government Innovations Awards Program. His major fields of expertise include political philosophy, comparative politics, globalization, civil society, governance and politics in China. His English works include Democracy is a Good Thing (Brookings Institute Press, 2009) and Globalization and Changes in China’s Governance (Brill, 2008). Professor Yu has spent time as a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Duke University and the Free University of Berlin.

'China-Burma Relations'
Dr Andrew Selth
Adjunct Research Fellow, the Griffith Asia Institute
Friday 20 April 2012 Lowy

Andrew Selth is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. He has been studying international security issues and Asian affairs for almost 40 years, as a diplomat, strategic intelligence analyst and research scholar. He has published four books and more than 50 other peer-reviewed works, most of them about Burma and related subjects. In 2007, he was awarded a PhD by Griffith University and a post-doctoral fellowship by the Australian Research Council. In August 2011, he was granted a Harold White Fellowship by the National Library of Australia. 

'China-India Relations'
Professor Amitabh Mattoo
Director, the Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne
Dr Jingdong Yuan
Acting Director at the Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney
Thursday, 22 March 2012 Lowy

Professor Amitabh Mattoo is the inaugural Director of the Australia India Institute and Professor of International Relations at the University of Melbourne. He is concurrently Professor of Disarmament Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Professor Mattoo was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu from 2002 – 2008. He received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford and has been a visiting Professor at Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Illinois, and the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris. He has published extensively, writes regularly for Indian newspapers and is a well-regarded commentator. He has been awarded the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian awards, for his contribution to education and public life.

Dr Jingdong Yuan is an associate professor and Acting Director at the Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney. Dr Yuan specialises in Asia-Pacific security, Chinese defence and foreign policy, and global and regional arms control and non-proliferation issues. He is the co-author of China and India: Cooperation or Conflict? (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003) and his publications have appeared in Asian Survey, Contemporary Security Studies, Far Eastern Economic Review, The Hindu, Japan Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, South China Morning Post, Washington Quarterly, among others. Dr. Yuan previously served as Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey institute of International Studies.

'Chinese Exceptionalism in the Intellectual World of China's Foreign Policy'
Dr Feng Zhang (张锋/張鋒)
Lecturer, Politics and International Studies Programme, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Murdoch University
Tuesday 21 February 2012 CIW

Although exceptionalism is an important dimension of China's foreign policy, it has not been a subject of serious scholarly research. This chapter attempts to examine the manifestations and sources of contemporary Chinese exceptionalism and explain its implications for foreign policy. Chinese exceptionalism is defined by great power reformism, benevolent pacifism, and harmonious inclusionism. While resting on an important factual basis, it is constructed by mixing facts with myths through selective use of China's vast historical and cultural experiences. Exceptionalism does not determine policy, but by being an essential part of the worldview of the Chinese government and many intellectuals, it can become an important source for policy ideas. It can be further seen as a normative theory for China's foreign policy, as one among six major schools competing for ideational influence in China's foreign policy formation.

'Plotting the course of EU-China relations after the Great Recession: A view from Italy'
Dr Giovanni B Andornino
Associate, China Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney
Monday 24 October 2011 CIW

Once expected to be upgraded through a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with a more effective post-Lisbon Union, China's relations with Europe have evolved markedly since the outset of the Great Recession, but not quite in the directions that had been anticipated. While the newly established European External Action Service struggles to produce a coherent strategy towards the EU's strategic partners, China's leaders appear to be focussing on deepening bilateral relations with single European countries through growing trade and investment. As for all other aspects of the EU's role in international life, the future of its relationship with China will depend upon how the contradiction between the progressively more inter-governmental scope of the Union's legal structure and the essentially supranational practices that are being enacted to prevent its economic failure plays out.

'Two generations of North Korea's leaders and their relations with China'
Ms Wuna Reilly
Wednesday 28 September 2011 Lowy

Wuna Reilly lived and worked in Dalian, China from 2001-2010, representing the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). She re-opened the first AFSC program office in China since 1949 and served as the AFSC China and North Korea Country Representative from 2006-2010. She co-founded the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Center (APCEC) in Dalian, partnering with North and South Korean, US, Japanese, and Chinese institutions in dialogue and cooperative projects. She was responsible for all AFSC programs in North Korea, including agricultural development projects and economic training programs for North Koreans in China, Vietnam, and North Korea. She also established programs on women's migration, conflict resolution, and cultural exchanges between the US and North Korea. She has visited North Korea over twenty-five times since 2001. She is currently studying Social Policy and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

'China's Antarctic Strategy and what it tells us about Chinese Foreign Policy'
Dr Ann-Marie Brady
Associate Professor, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Canterbury (New Zealand)
Monday 22 August 2011 Lowy

China seeks a more active involvement in Antarctic and Arctic governance in keeping with its growing polar interests. In the last five years China has invested heavily in polar affairs. Many observers are concerned that China's increased polar engagement will challenge the interests of other polar nations and could cause friction among them. This talk examined China's Antarctic strategy as a framework to better understand Beijing's global ambitions and the geopolitics which help to underpin it.

Updated:  19 February 2014/Responsible Officer:  Director, China in the World /Page Contact:  China in the World