The 13th International Conference of Australian Studies in China was held in Chengdu from 6th July to 8th July with the theme “Globalization and Imagination”. Numerous celebrated scholars and university delegates from domestic and overseas participated. Coincidently, it is the 40th year establishment of Sino-Australian diplomatic relations. The conference would have a considerable significance on future development between Australia and China. The topics for group discussions covered various fields, including Australian history, literature, culture, media, politics, economy, and education. Moreover, topics also included indigenous Australians, Sino-Australian Relations, ethnic relations and language studies. “Carpentaria”, a novel translated by Professor Li Yao achieved double annual book awards by Australia-China Council. Luckily, as delegates from CAS in LNNU, we participated in the symposium and benefited a lot from inspiring presentations, book launches and artlink launches.
The opening ceremony was staged in Xihua University in 6th July.
Professor Hou Minyue from East China Normal University delivered a keynote address around the topic of “Rethinking post-1978 China-Australia Economic Relations”. Prof. Hou pointed out that China and Australia as important nations in the Asian-pacific region yielded extensive mutual benefits because of trade complementarity. The economic relations and interactions in various fields between the two nations were demonstrated clearly through different sets of data. Prof. Hou also commented on Huawei’s unsuccessful broadband bidding event. He concluded the unfairly rejection of the bidding implied that policy support was necessary as the momentum for expanding mutual benefits and realizing the development of bilateral economic relations between China and Australia. For this reason, we aspired to build a more mature win-win relationship and improve bilateral relationship between Australia and China.
After the keynote session, concurrent sessions covered various topics, and Sino-Australian Relations was one of them. The topic of Professor Colin Mackerras was Australia-China Relations since 2010, mainly referring to Hugh White’s book “Power Shift: Australia's Future Between Washington and Beijing”, in which the author discussed the strategic changes of Australia’s top trading partner and its main strategic partner. Prof. Mackerras compared Gillard’s prime ministership with Rudd government, indicating the changes of Sino-Australian Relations since 2010. He pointed out that Australia was facing a significant choice which was to respond to a rising China in a best possible way while keeping the important role of the US. The presentation aroused scholars’ heated discussion.
The topic of Professor You Ji and Professor Gao Peishan from University of New South Wales was “Managing Off-balanced Tripartite Relations: the way to Avoid Unnecessary Confrontation”. Prof. Gao mentioned since 2008, China had become the fundamental trade partner of Australia, while the US was still the faithful ally. Facing China’s rise, how to balance the trade relations with China and at the meanwhile alliance with the US is the problem Australia facing. Prof. You and Prof. Gao analyzed challenges in the trilateral relations in transition.
Sino-Australian Relations, as a hot topic in this conference was paid much attention by scholars and delegates.
During the three days’ symposium, we had pleasant discussions and conversations with scholars, professors and postgraduates who were passionate for Australian studies and devoted themselves to Australian cultural transmission, Australian studies and Sino-Australian friendly relations, which also reflected the theme “globalization and imagination”.