From May 18th to 19th, 2018, the academic expert team of the National Academy of Development and Strategy of Renmin University of China (hereinafter referred to as the NADS RUC) visited two universities in Australia, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney. The delegation was led by Prof. Xu Qinhua from School of International Studies, RUC, Deputy Dean of NADS, formed by Ma Liang, Assistant to the Dean of NADS and Associate Professor of the School of Public Administration, Dr. Song Lu, Assistant to the Dean of NADS, Associate Professor Gong Yazhen and Dr. Wang Ke from the School of Environment and NADS Research Fellow, and Dr. Dong Changgui from School of Public Administration and NADS Research Fellow.
On May 18, the academic team visited the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) at the University of Technology, Sydney. Founded in 2014, the Institute is the only one university-level think tank in Australia to study Australia-China relations. It aims to promote economic and trade cooperation, the development of think tanks, academic exchanges, and information sharing. The current dean is Bob Carr, a former Australian foreign minister and professor of international relations. Dean Carr and his deputy dean, James Laurenceson, and Principal Research Fellow Dr. Shi Xunpeng together received the academic team and organized the "Australia-China Relations" symposium. The two sides first introduced each other to the NADS, the research expertise of the delegation members, and the related situations of ACRI, and exchanged books and institutional materials.
At the symposium, scholars from both sides conducted extensive exchanges and in-depth discussions on issues such as Australia-China relations, Australia’s domestic political developments, the “Belt and Road Initiative”, energy and climate change, immigration policies, and Sino-US trade frictions. Prof Carr mentioned that there have been some new changes in Australia’s domestic politics since 2017: On the one hand, the United States has surprised Australia’s domestic politics after President Trump’s implementation of the “America First”; on the other hand, China’s rising speed and China’s rising influence in Southeast Asia has also put pressure on Australian conservatives. Laurenceson made good suggestions on the positioning, propaganda, information sharing, and cost-effectiveness of China's investment projects in countries along the “Belt and Road.” Dr. Shi Xunpeng responded positively to questions raised by the RUC on natural gas markets in Australia, and LNG imports and exports in China and Australia. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Australia’s domestic climate change policy, and immigration policy also became hot topics discussed on the day. At present, China has become Australia’s largest importer of trade. China’s imports account for 40% of Australian exports. After the signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2015, the Sino-Australian trade volume continued to grow and the structure continued to improve. The two sides stated that they should play a greater and more active role in the friendly relations between Australia and China, actively carry out in-depth academic and scientific research cooperation in many aspects, and issue invitations for the next visit. After the meeting, members of the delegation took photos in front of the wall of the ACRI logo. Recently, the relationship between Australia and China has entered a complicated stage. The NADS RUC team took the lead in Australia to visit the Australian think tank and exchanged views on issues of interest to both parties. This played a role in increasing trust to some extent.
On May 19, the academic team of the NADS visited the University of Sydney Business School. Both parties started cooperation when they applied for the 2017 World University Alliance (WUN) RDF project. The University of Sydney is one of the two overseas partners of the RUC’s WUN RDF Project Team. One of the main objectives of this visit to Australia was to communicate with the counterparts of the WUN project team about the progress of the project, and the expenses needed were also covered by the WUN project funds. The chief expert of the WNU Project of the National People's Congress is Prof. Xu Qinhua, and the two collaborators at the University of Sydney are Professor Hans Hendrischke and Professor Li Wei of the Department of International Business at the School of Business.
The University of Sydney Business School is Australia's leading business school. In 2017, the Institute established the direction of Chinese enterprise management under the Department of International Business and trained and delivered a large number of international corporate management talents for China. According to introductions, the number of Chinese students at the University of Sydney’s School of Business has reached 4,000, accounting for one-third of the total number of students in the college. The research on the direction of Chinese enterprise management projects focuses on three aspects: the annual report on Chinese companies investing in Australia, the development of private companies in China, and the One Belt One Road study.
The two sides conducted in-depth exchanges on various aspects of the WUN project study. First, Dr. Wang Ke, head of the research team of the project team, introduced the four main components of the project: from the definition of green development to country assessments along the route, from specific policy areas to industry case studies. Then, Associate Professor Gong Yazhen introduced the team's theoretical thinking on the concept of green development, while Dr. Dong Changgui shared the current research progress of the team from the perspective of the green development index system. The two parties also discussed the current status of Australia’s Belt and Road Initiative, the opening of northern Australia, the performance of Chinese companies investing in Australia, Australia’s pending research topics and information needs for countries along the Belt and Road, and two co-professors of the University of Sydney’s School of Business have fully discussed and exchanged the ideas on project research in progress. The discussion focuses on how China's “One Belt One Road” initiative and construction experience are applied in the development of modern agriculture in Northern Australia, and the current survey of corporate social responsibility for Chinese companies investing in Australia by the Business School of the University of Sydney.
As one of the two overseas partners of the RUC WUN Project, the University of Sydney Business School will provide the RUC Project Team with valuable examples of Chinese companies investing in Australia. According to introductions, with the continuous deepening of Sino-Australian trade relations, more and more Chinese companies have entered Australia and have carried out extensive Sino-Australian economic and trade cooperation in various fields. Among them, the successful acquisition of John Holland, the Australian construction giant, by CCCC International Holding Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CCCG in 2015, is a typical case. In addition, in the field of new energy, China’s Xinjiang Goldwind Sci. &Tech Co., Ltd’s investment performance in Australia is also very good. At present, the market share of Goldwind Technologies wind power generation in Australia has reached No.1. Both parties took photos before the new building at the Sydney University Business School.
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