While accepting the importance and value of the trade relationship with China, our new program called China and Free Societies aims to raise awareness of the challenges growing Chinese government influence poses to a free and democratic Australia.


Australia's Export Exposure to China's Coronavirus Epidemic
Salvatore Babones
18 February 2020 | AP7

This paper estimates the direct and immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the revenues of Australia’s major export industries. It breaks down Australia’s exports to China across 18 major industry groups, including both goods and services exports. China’s coronavirus epidemic is likely to cost…

The China Student Boom and the Risks It Poses to Australian Universities
Salvatore Babones
20 August 2019 | AP5

Australia’s universities are taking a multi-million dollar gamble with taxpayer money to pursue a high-risk, high-reward international growth strategy. Their revenues are booming as they enrol record numbers of international students, particularly from China. As long as their bets on the international student market pay…

The China Challenge
Rowan Callick
28 July 2019 | OP171

The rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has helped make Australia rich, but it is also posing challenges to its values, interests, alliances and thus its identity. Xi Xinping’s ambitious New Era represents a decisive break with the Old Era under Deng Xiaoping…

Defending Liberal Democracy and Liberal Peace in the Time of Rising Populism and Fascism
Suri Ratnapala
01 July 2019 | AP3

Liberal democracy has been remarkably resilient in the face of external and internal threats, but now confronts new-old challenges from rising populism, mercantilism and fascist ambition. While the deepening fissures and fault lines within liberal democracies must be addressed, this division and dysfunction is coinciding…

Does Western Civilisation Have a Future?
Wolfgang Kasper
19 February 2019 | PP17

The question, whether our civilisation has a future, will sound preposterous to many. Has Western civilisation not overcome many a crisis in its thousand-year history? Has it not — in its modern incarnation of individual freedom, the capitalist market economy and democratic control of government…

Media & Commentary

Even now our universities remain addicted to China
Salvatore Babones
19 February 2020 | The Australian

Australia isn’t the only country exposed to a novel coronavirus recession in China. The COVID-19 epidemic is first and foremost a human tragedy, but it also has raised fears about…

Coronavirus shock
Salvatore Babones
07 February 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre

China’s coronavirus outbreak has disrupted travel plans for millions of people — and could cost Australian universities millions of dollars. For students threatened by a deadly and fast-spreading virus, school…

Our China-dependent universities cannot escape the financial shock of coronavirus
Salvatore Babones
31 January 2020 | The Sydney Morning Herald

China’s coronavirus outbreak has disrupted travel plans for millions of people – and could cost Australian universities millions of dollars. Within China itself, the virus epicentre in Wuhan, a city…

Communists lose the ability to care for themselves
Salvatore Babones
31 January 2020 | The Australian

Illustration: Eric Lobbecke Severe acute respiratory syndrome 2003. Pneumonic plague 2009. Coronavirus 2020. Avian flu just about every other year. Why does it seem like the next virus apocalypse is…

Another rebuke to Beijing
Tom Switzer
17 January 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre

Last weekend, Taiwan’s first female leader was re-elected in a landslide to claim a new four-year mandate. Tsai Ing-wen  – a 63-year-old admirer of Margaret Thatcher and former law academic…