Australia-China Relations post 1949: Sixty Years of Trade by Yi Wang

By Yi Wang

This booklet demanding situations the typical perceptions of Australian dependence upon great-power allies within the behavior of its overseas relatives via a severe exam of Australia's relatives with the People's Republic of China. the writer makes a speciality of the commercial and political dimensions of the policy-making strategy from the founding of the PRC in 1949 to the current period, opposed to an analytical framework that takes into consideration either inner and exterior components within the formula and implementation of Australian overseas coverage. trained by way of political technology and diplomacy, the e-book differs from the normal literature on Sino-Australian kinfolk, which has both excited by natural monetary research or targeting chronicling ancient occasions. the writer weaves theoretical insights from political technology and diplomacy into the ancient research whereas looking to study the interaction among political and financial elements over the years in shaping coverage results. The booklet attracts not just on fundamental and secondary resources but additionally on details and insights got from interviews with an enormous array of direct individuals within the coverage method, together with just about all the previous ambassadors from either China and Australia, overlaying the full interval of the diplomatic dating. hence, the booklet breaks new floor, in particular from the Hawke period onwards, revealing hitherto missed info of curiosity within the coverage procedure.

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Extra info for Australia-China Relations post 1949: Sixty Years of Trade and Politics

Sample text

After the split, the ALP formally adopted a policy of recognizing the PRC and supporting its UN membership. This did not mean, however, that the ALP was immune from the popular perception of threat from China. In fact, the threat appeared as real to the ALP – especially under the leadership of Arthur Calwell – as to the government parties, although they differed in terms of the nature of such threat. In 1965, for instance, Calwell conceded that the PRC threatened South-East Asia by its involvement in the Vietnam War, but he believed that the threat took the form of political subversion rather than military invasion, and was therefore opposed to committing Australian troops to Vietnam.

On the whole, the Australian government played a passive role in the China trade, reacting to developments as they occurred and denying involvement whenever it could. Judging by available evidence, it was hard to discern any consistent or coherent policy on the part of the successive Coalition governments with regard to the promotion of trade with the PRC. If anything, it was a negative attitude that led the governments to detach themselves strenuously from public involvement in the trade. As Wilczynski argued in 1966, ‘in trading with China the Australian Government has succeeded in divorcing trade from foreign policy in general’ (1966: 167).

Idiosyncratic factors While the general thrust of Australian policy towards the PRC was determined by a combination of systemic and domestic factors, some specific developments in the process cannot be explained satisfactorily by reference to these factors alone. A case in point was the Australian government’s decision to open an embassy in Taibei in 1966. Following the founding of the PRC in 1949, Australia withdrew its embassy from Nanjing, the capital of the wartime Nationalist government. While the Chiang Kai-shek regime retained its embassy in Canberra, Australia did not reciprocate by establishing a diplomatic mission in Taibei, despite its recognition of the Nationalist authorities in Taiwan.

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Australia-China Relations post 1949: Sixty Years of Trade by Yi Wang
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