Australia and China face a new era, but are we ready?

Australia’s prosperity and security are linked to China as never before. But what kind of a country is China becoming? Will its demand for Australian goods and services increase? Can the Communist Party continue to keep the middle class satisfied while cracking down on political freedoms? How will China use its economic and military might, especially if challenged by President Trump?

China Matters is a concise overview of China today, and the implications for Australia. Written by Australia-based, internationally renowned China-watchers Bates Gill and Linda Jakobson, it examines the country’s unique dynamism and contradictions. It delves into everything from business ties to the growing influence of the Chinese government in Australia. It is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand China’s complexities and how Australia should respond to secure our future.

‘Cuts through the volatile mix of hype, hysteria and complacency surrounding the Middle Kingdom in Australia to sketch out a nuanced road map for dealing with Asia’s rising super power.’ —Richard McGregor

‘Australians must learn to live with China’s power. This is simply the best all-round guide we have for how to do this.’ —Hugh White

‘For all its modern gloss, China is scarcely less strangely and severely governed by today’s communist elite than it was under imperial dynasties. Yet its connections and influence have already become ubiquitous in Australia today, bringing great opportunity but also risk. This should command the educated attention of all Australians. That is why China matters. That is why China Matters matters.’ —Rowan Callick, author of Party Time: Who Runs China and How

‘For an Australia increasingly divided between a reliance on China for its future prosperity, and an apprehension about what a powerful China means for its security and values, China Matters is a timely intervention. Deeply knowledgeable, engagingly argued, and most importantly wise and balanced, this book should be read by all Australians who think seriously about their country’s future.’ —Michael Wesley, author of Restless Continent: Wealth, Rivalry and Asia’s New Geopolitics

‘Jakobson and Gill avoid the common twin traps of China analysis. They are not romantic or rabid. They offer a timely realism. This book helps brace Australia for a tricky future with a great, rising power that we need to understand.’ —Peter Hartcher, author of The Sweet Spot: How Australia Made Its Own Luck – And Could Now Throw It All Away 

‘This is crucial reading for Australian decision-makers and the broader Australian public. Australia survives and prospers because we have become adept at navigating the complexities of our region and their linkage with our broader global interests. In this uncertain and increasingly dangerous world we need a deep understanding of China’s directions. This helps.’ —Kim Beazley, president of the Australian Institute for International Affairs and former ambassador to the United States 

‘For most of the last twenty centuries, China has been the largest economy in the world and it is on track to become so again. The recent remarkable economic success has changed the balance of global economic power and by association, the balance of political power. It is no longer a question of should there be a relationship between Australia, its institutions and China, but how that relationship works and develops. This requires different thinking around the strategic relationship, which must encompass political, cultural as well as economic understanding. China will play an increasingly important part and will shape, in many ways, the future of Australia. Being aware of what makes China tick, will be more important than ever.’ —Mike Smith, senior adviser, PwC Australia’s Asia Practice and former CEO, ANZ Banking Group

China's diplomatic strategy has changed dramatically since the mid-1990s, creating both challenges and opportunities for the United States. U.S. policymakers have only just begun to comprehend these critical changes, however, and all too often their China policy has been incoherent. In Rising Star, Bates Gill points the way out of this morass. Based on a comprehensive and far-reaching analysis of the transformation in China's security diplomacy, he persuasively makes the case for a more nuanced and focused policy toward Beijing.

Over the past decade, China's approach to regional and global security affairs has become more proactive, practical, and constructive. This trend favors U.S. interests in many ways. Yet China's new strategy has also bolstered its international influence and may enhance its ability to resolve thorny issues—such as Taiwan's future—on its own terms. In exploring these dynamics, s ing Star fofocuses on Chinese policy in three areas— regional security mechanisms, nonproliferation and arms control, and questions of sovereignty and intervention. The concluding chapter analyzes U.S.-China relations and offers specific recommendations toward a framework that emphasizes what the two countries have in common, rather than what divides them. Today, China's rise presents the international community with a tremendous challenge. Successfully managing this transition will require informed realism, astute management, and nimble diplomacy. Timely and vital, ng Star off offers essential guidance to policymakers approaching this task, and provides insightful understanding for all those interested in Chinese foreign policy both in the United States and around the world.

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