China's changing face up close in new book

Thursday, 4 March 2004

Opposition spokesman for Foreign Affairs Mr Kevin Rudd MP will be the guest speaker at a launch of a new book at the University of Adelaide tonight (Thursday March 4) that takes a close look at the changing face of politics in China - changes that will have major repercussions for Australia.

Dr Gerry Groot, lecturer at the University of Adelaide's Centre for Asian Studies, is the author of Managing Transitions: The Chinese Communist Party, United Front Work, Corporatism and Hegemony.

Published by Routledge as part of its East Asia series, Managing Transitions is the most comprehensive book on its topic since 1967, and details the changes occurring on China's political and economic fronts.

"It's vital for Australia to have a thorough understanding of what is happening in China, because without that knowledge we cannot hope to maximise our growth and minimise aggression towards Australia," Dr Groot says.

"Traditionally the Chinese Communist Party has allowed political crises to drive its decision-making, and another political crisis in inevitable. Its banking system is weak and its economy is export-reliant and potentially fragile; and yet China is shaping up as one of the most crucial influences on the Asia-Pacific Region if not the world in the coming decades.

"Conflict over Taiwan, a collapse in the Chinese economy - these are just two of the major issues that will impact on Australia and the Western world in the coming years. The Chinese government's present unhappiness over Hong Kong's demands for more say in choosing their Chief Executive has also highlighted once again, the continued role of united front work in the Chinese political system at times of great stress."

WHAT: Launch of Managing Transitions and talk by guest speaker Mr Kevin Rudd
WHERE: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus
WHEN: 7.30pm TONIGHT - Thursday, March 4

Mr Kevin Rudd majored in Chinese at the Australian National University and spent seven years doing political and economic analysis work at the Australian Embassy in Beijing. He later did several years of China-related business consultancy work for KPMG until entering parliament in 1998.


Contact Details

Dr Gerry Groot
Centre for Asian Studies
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5815