China and Free Societies
John Lee, former senior advisor to foreign minister Julie Bishop and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington alongside James Laurenceson, acting director of the Australia China Relations Institute for a wide-ranging discussion. Moderated by Sue Windybank, convenor of a new CIS project on China and free societies.
For decades, it was widely held that China’s economic progress would create the internal conditions for a more democratic regime that would be more stable and less of a potential global threat. But Beijing has not followed the “end of history” script.
So have we been naive about China? Is Australia’s longstanding pragmatism—putting differences aside to focus on shared interests—still tenable? To what extent does Beijing threaten our national sovereignty? And how can we best preserve political autonomy in a regional order that increasingly revolves around China?
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