Tsinghua Ambassador Talks--17 September 2015

On September 17, the Ambassador of Australia to China H.E. Frances Adamson delivered a lecture entitled “Australia’s Creative Diplomacy and the Evolving Global Order” at the Tsinghua University. Her lecture has been the 16th Tsinghua Ambassador Talk, a student-led forum that provides an opportunity for Tsinghua IR students to directly engage with government officials on political, economic, and social issues.

Ambassador Frances began with the introduction of the opening up of Australian government with emerging powers such as China in 1980s, which now results in strong political and economic ties between the two countries.

Being the world’s second biggest economy, China today serves as the biggest trading partner of Australia. Aside from becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination for Chinese nationals, Australia is also providing the raw resources and commodities needed by China to sustain its growth. Particularly on China’s latest grand scheme, the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, Australia is working closely with the Chinese government by lending its expertise in various fields to Chinese companies.

As one of the so-called “middle powers”, Australia strongly believes it could have its share in shaping global orders. Ambassador Frances pointed out the rise of Australia as an education power, as well as a formidable defense and economic partner, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

Emphasizing the country’s eminent policy activism, she expressed Australia’s desire of an international order based on the tenets of international law. In this regard, though it is not a claimant in the matter, it is Australia’s interest to help reaching a peaceful solution in the South-China-Sea dispute.

The Ambassador concluded her lecture by welcoming questions from audience members, among others, elaborating on issues related to Australia’s national security and its current refugee policy.

The Talk was joined by a group of Australian students from University of Wollongong who were present in Beijing as part the of Australian government’s “New Colombo Plan” initiative, which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.