After the Thaw: How to deal with China - Canberra - The Centre for Independent Studies
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Date & Time

Thursday, 23 February - Thursday, 23 February 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm AEDT

After the Thaw: How to deal with China – Canberra

Join us on Thursday, February 23 at Hotel Realm in Canberra as we host CIS Scholars-in-residence James Mann and Alice Han, as well as foreign policy and national security expert Peter Jennings and Lithuanian Ambassador to Australia Darius Degutis for a lively panel discussion moderated by Tom Switzer on Australia’s relations with China as the US-China competition remains intense.

China begins the New Year with a healthcare crisis, a weakening economy, declining population, a property crisis and political protests. These vulnerabilities — each attributable to the Chinese Communist Party – raise important questions:

Is China’s rise to global dominance inevitable? Can Xi Jinping expect to maintain political control across an increasingly restless country? With the very real weaknesses of the real-estate industry, will China’s high-growth economy come to an end despite the abandonment of zero Covid?

Given the thaw in Sino-Australia relations, should Canberra redefine its policy approach away from the more assertive diplomacy of recent times? Would a continuing Australian thaw with China affect Canberra’s alliance with the United States?

James Mann is a multi-award winning journalist, author and the CIS Scholar-in-residence for 2023. He was Chief of the Beijing bureau for the  Los Angeles Times from 1984 – 1987 and has appeared in publications such as The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly and The American Prospect. James is author several books including The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression (Penguin, 2007).

Alice Han is the director of China for global macroeconomic and geopolitical advisory firm Greenmantle and the CIS Scholar-in-residence for 2022. Her academic work and media publications on China and fintech have been published by the Hoover Institution, Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy.

Darius Degutis is the Lithuanian Ambassador to Australia. He has held Ambassadorships in Poland and Israel, and he was ambassador of the economic security policy department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for special assignments from 2006 – 2008. Degutis also served as Ambassador-at-Large at the External Economic Relations and Economic Security Policy Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2017 to 2021).

Peter Jennings is a Senior Fellow the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and was the their executive director from May 2012 to May 2022. Peter is a regular contributor to The Australian on China and foreign affairs. He was Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Defence Department from 2009 – 2012, Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defence from 1996 – 1998 and Senior Adviser for Strategic Policy to the Prime Minister from 2002-2003.

Tom Switzer is executive director of the Centre for Independent Studies and a presenter at the ABC’s Radio National.