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Australian scholars call for improvement of China-Australia relationship

XINHUA 徽标 XINHUA 2022/5/27 ,
© 由 XINHUA 提供

Anthony Albanese reacts after winning Australia's 2022 federal election in Sydney, Australia, on May 21, 2022. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)

An open letter written by 15 Australian scholars called for improving the China-Australia relationship. "The change in government presents the opportunity for a circuit breaker in the poor diplomatic relations that have developed between Australia and China in the recent past," said the letter.

CANBERRA, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Fifteen scholars from Australian universities called for improvement of China-Australia relationship in an open letter released on Thursday.

The open letter, to the new federal government elected last Saturday, was published on the blog platform Pearls and Irritations.

The scholars included former diplomat and visiting professor in the University of Sydney Jocelyn Chey, Australian National University (ANU) professor and economist Jane Golley, Director of the China Studies Center at the University of Sydney David Goodman, Director of the Australia-China Relations Institute in the University of Technology Sydney James Laurenceson, and Ben Hillman, director of the Australian Center on China in the World in the ANU.

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Students visit the University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on March 11, 2021. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)

Addressing to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong, the letter said, "The change in government presents the opportunity for a circuit breaker in the poor diplomatic relations that have developed between Australia and China in the recent past."

"As professors of China Studies who undertake research on various aspects of China's society and politics, we acknowledge that the new government is likely to avoid the over-aggressive approach of its predecessor. In our view less public aggression is likely to be more effective in dealing with China: international engagement should replace the language of war," it said.

The scholars said the growth of China, as a significant regional and would-be global power, is bound to be disruptive, and two-way communication, rather than "megaphone diplomacy", is needed so that the changing environment is managed as effectively as possible.

"A China policy informed as much by diplomatic and economic interests as by great power strategic concerns may well and more sustainably ensure Australia's national and economic security," they said.

"While appreciating the tremendous difficulties ahead we urge this adjustment in approach to China." 

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