Saturday Seminar – China’s global diplomatic approach is shifting. What does that mean for Australia.

Tutor/Facilitator Richard Cullen

Date: on/from Sat 18 Jun 2022 to Sat 18 June 2022
Frequency: Single Event
Class time: 2:30-3:30

Delivered ZOOM

Other information

Presenter: Richard Cullen, a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law at Hong Kong University

For around three decades after the commencement of China’s “open door” policy in 1978, the West, led by the US, generally welcomed the rise of China.  Immense business opportunities were recognized and trade boomed.  Australia benefitted exceptionally as this process unfolded. At the same time, we saw rapidly increasing academic, intellectual and general interest in China.  The spoken and unspoken expectation, especially viewed from the US, was that a modernizing China would follow a path of economic and political convergence over time.  This is not, though, how matters have unfolded: China has not adhered to this Washington-shaped, macro political-economic script.  Rather, it has followed its own blueprint for rejuvenation, heavily shaped by its extraordinary history.  Over the last century, the mood in the West has gone from being sorry for China, then helpful to China to being increasingly anxious about – and hostile – to China.

In 2018, the former US President, Jimmy Carter, provided us with some acutely observed, relevant context.  He noted that the US had only been at peace for 16 years of over a period of 240 years as a nation.  America was, he said, “the most warlike nation in the history of the world”.  He added that, since 1979, China had not been at war with anybody.

As China’s political-economic power has advanced at an incomparable rate, its approach to international relations has become notably more assertive.  This has presented conspicuous challenges for Australia.  This presentation will consider how we have come to this point and where we may be headed.

Richard Cullen is a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law at Hong Kong University.  He has spent over 25 years based in Hong Kong since he first arrived to teach in the new Law School at the then City Polytechnic of Hong Kong in late 1991.  He was a Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia until 2006.  He has written over 200 books, articles, notes and commentaries.  He wrote No Third Person (Abbreviated Press, Hong Kong, 2018) with Christine Loh, which examines the rewriting of the Hong Kong story.  His latest book is: Hong Kong Constitutionalism: The British Legacy and the Chinese Future (Routledge, Abingdon, 2020).  A range of shorter recent articles can be found on the Pearls and Irritations Website, at:

This seminar is open to all U3A Port Phillip members and subscribers and to the general public.

As there are limited numbers, please book in below.

This is an online live seminar, presented as a webinar on Zoom.

If you have not yet used Zoom, you will need to download Zoom onto your device in advance- click here for instructions.

To watch the seminar, return here for the link to join the webinar from 2:20pm for a prompt 2:30pm start.


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