40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations
2012 marked the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Australia. It is an important milestone for the rapidly expanding relationship between the two countries.
The 40th Anniversary offered us an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of Australia-China relations and consider new ideas and initiatives to strengthen, enrich and deepen our future.
Throughout 2012 the Australia-China Council was actively involved in the Anniversary program through the following flagship projects:
Beyond the Cables: Australian Ambassadors to China 1972-2012 Oral History Project
A partnership between the Australia-China Council and National Library of Australia to produce extended interviews with former and current Australian Ambassadors to China. This unique project will track the history of 40 years of Australia-China diplomatic engagement through the eyes of Australian Ambassadors. The interviews will be available to public through the National Library online catalogue, and will serve as an important education, reference, communication and advocacy resource.
Gough Whitlam and the road to establishing formal relations with the People's Republic of China: the significance for contemporary Australian-Chinese relations
An initiative by the Whitlam Institute at the University of Western Sydney supported by the Australia-China Council that explores a key role played by the former Prime Minister, the Hon Gough Whitlam AC QC in the development of Australia-China relations.
As a key part of the project, the Whitlam Institute has published a paper The Coup that Laid the Fear of China by Australia's first Ambassador to the People's Republic of China Dr Stephen FitzGerald AO.
In his essay, Dr Fitzgerald provides a unique first-hand account of Whitlam's historic 1971 China visit. He also examines political, social and cultural shifts and undercurrents in Australia at that time that led to Gough Whitlam's decision to visit China, and later in 1972 establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.
The second element of the project is an online exhibition 'Whitlam and China' which tracks through visual, multimedia and historical materials an extraordinary journey which led to the establishment of the formal diplomatic ties between Australia and China and paved the way to the comprehensive engagement which is the bilateral relationship is now.
Australian Volunteers International - China Celebration
In 2012 Australian Volunteers International will celebrate 25 years of AVI volunteers in China.
Australia and China at 40
Australia and China at 40 - Publication by the University of Sydney China Studies Centre, edited by Dr James Reilly and Professor Jingdong Yuan. The book of 10 essays by leading Australian and Chinese experts surveys the multiple facets of Sino-Australia relations.
The book was launched by Senator Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Parliament House, August, 2012.