• Hannah Phillips

Resetting Relations with China

Prime Minister Turnbull’s speech in early August on resetting relations with China was very constructive.

It clearly helped to put an end to the “China panic” that the media and anti-China commentators had been pushing since 2016, arguing that China was seeking to use soft power to influence Australian politics.

The Turnbull speech, which was presented to a largely student audience at the University of New South Wales, did much to paint a positive picture of relations between Australia and China and to highlight the importance of China’s development over the last four decades and its involvement in international investment projects.

Turnbull endorsed China’s Belt and Road initiative and said Australia looked forward to becoming involved in it.

He also spoke in very complementary terms about the 1.2 million Australians of Chinese ancestry and noted that his two grandchildren were part of this community.

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