Delve into danger
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We are frequently told that we may have to make a strategic choice between the US and China. With these two options in front of us, a third choice, ‘sit on the fence and hope for the best’ has probably been the most popular position. But as China’s rise continues and the US retreats, do our strategic interests lie in a positive alignment with our region’s traditional power? Could an alliance between Australia and China be founded on shared interests – despite underlying cultural and political differences? Trade, investment and partnerships have already bound our destiny to China’s in a way that no amount of political posturing can undo. Is it time to stop sitting on the fence and choose China?
Linda Jakobson is the CEO and Founding Director of China Matters, an independent Australian public policy initiative that aims to advance sound China policy and stimulate a nuanced public discourse in Australia about the rise of the People’s Republic of China. From 2011 to 2013, she served as the Lowy Institute's East Asia Program Director. Before moving to Sydney, she lived and worked in China for 22 years and published six books on Chinese and East Asian society. A Mandarin speaker, Jakobson is internationally known for her publications about PRC foreign policy. Over the past three decades she has served as a policy adviser to the governments of seven countries. Her most recent book, written with Dr Bates Gill, is China Matters: Getting It Right for Australia (La Trobe University Press/Black Inc., 2017).
For over 25 years, Simon has been Executive Director of The Ethics Centre working across business, government and society to put ethics at the centre of our lives. Simon has a PhD in philosophy from Cambridge University and is an Honorary Professor at the ANU. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and of the Royal Society of NSW. Simon co-founded the Festival of Dangerous Ideas with Richard Evans. He played a pivotal role in establishing the industry-led Banking and Finance Oath and ethics classes in primary schools. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2013.