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

By Yi Wang

This e-book demanding situations the typical perceptions of Australian dependence upon great-power allies within the behavior of its international kinfolk via a severe exam of Australia's family with the People's Republic of China. the writer makes a speciality of the industrial and political dimensions of the policy-making method from the founding of the PRC in 1949 to the current period, opposed to an analytical framework that takes under consideration either inner and exterior elements within the formula and implementation of Australian international coverage. educated through political technology and diplomacy, the ebook differs from the normal literature on Sino-Australian family members, which has both occupied with natural financial research or focused on chronicling old occasions. the writer weaves theoretical insights from political technology and diplomacy into the historic research whereas trying to learn the interaction among political and financial components over the years in shaping coverage results. The ebook attracts not just on fundamental and secondary assets but additionally on details and insights got from interviews with an enormous array of direct individuals within the coverage procedure, together with just about all the previous ambassadors from either China and Australia, masking the full interval of the diplomatic courting. consequently, the ebook breaks new flooring, in particular from the Hawke period onwards, revealing hitherto ignored information of curiosity within the coverage technique.

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The pre-recognition period (1949–1972) 25 Starting in 1966, the ALP began to discard its past perception of the PRC as a potential threat to Australian security after reassessing the situation on the basis of new revelations pointing to ‘the inadequacy and defensive nature of the [Chinese] People’s Liberation Army and the independence of Hanoi and the Vietcong from Beijing’ (Fung 1980: 34). This did not, however, lead immediately to the articulation of a coherent policy to counter the government’s position of non-recognition of the PRC and opposition to its UN representation.

All these actions and attitudes across the fifties and sixties tended to confirm the Australian Government in its view that China represented a potential danger to stability within Asia and beyond. (Greenwood 1974: 234) These perceptions stemmed from the fact that Australia confronted the PRC against the setting of the Cold War, which had polarized international relations along largely ideological lines, and divided the world into two major camps of the The pre-recognition period (1949–1972) 19 East and the West.

In its policy towards China, Australia was now lagging even behind the United States, despite McMahon’s claim to the contrary. As Stephen FitzGerald (1972: 8) points out, ‘in more substantial matters, the US was already moving ahead of Australia’. If Australia’s commitment to the United States-led alliance could be regarded as a chief determinant of its policy of non-recognition of the PRC and opposition to the latter’s UN membership, what accounts for this tardiness in keeping up with the redirection of US policy?

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