The first Guanxi event for 2020 (Feb 26) was a great success. Over 70 members and guests attended the talk by Professor Stephen Smith on Australia China Relationship. Attendees included Chamber Patron Dr Simon Lee, Honorary Past President Dr Eric Tan and President Khoon Tan. Representatives from the Chinese Consulate was also present.
Stephen Smith is Professor of International Law at the University of Western Australia. He was the Member for Perth in the Australian Federal Parliament between 1993 and 2013. During this time, he served in key portfolios including Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Trade and Minister for Defence.
Professor Smith observed that much of Australia’s current issues with China can be traced back to the conflicts between a newly nationalistic United State and an increasingly assertive China. In this environment, Australia should seek to improve its relationship with China through proactive engagement, making the effort, accepting our differences and focusing on areas of mutual benefits. Professor Smith also noted that the rise in the Indian and the Indonesian economies will broaden Australia’s market in the medium term.
This talk is the first in a series on Australia China Relationship. The Chamber will be inviting other distinguished speakers throughout the year to share their thoughts on this vital topic. We thank Mozart’s Patisserie and Squire Patton Boggs for sponsoring the refreshments at the event.