The First and Inaugural Australia-China Youth Dialogue Kicks Off In Beijing’s ‘Capital M’ With a Capital Bang

2010-10-06 22:42:23

  At a moment in history when the importance of the Sino-Australian relationship is at its pinnacle, thirty young Australians and Chinese, along with notable speakers and guests gathered at the renowned Beijing restaurant ‘Capital M’ to mark and cement the future of this increasingly important partnership.

  With Beijing reserving its finest Autumn weather for the day, the morning proceedings set the scene for a three day conference to be held in both Beijing and Shanghai, where the lines of communication have been opened to allow and encourage meaningful dialogue covering issues, not only of importance to the future of the Australia-China relationship but those which will define that of a new and shifting global order.

  Speaking to delegates in the morning; Mr Laurie Pearcey, Executive Director of the Australia-China Business Council, Dr. Richard Rigby, Executive Director of the China Institute (ANU) and Mr John Garnaut, China correspondent for Fairfax Media waxed lyrical on China and Australia and their respective and joint position in the flux that is the changing geo-political positioning of the Asia-Pacific framework.

  Notable throughout all discussions was the willingness of all participants to engage in challenging discourse and raise and address, rather than balk at what may, in recent past have been considered somewhat controversial and sensitive topics.

  Concepts of culture and identity and its place in a rapidly changing social-environment provided fuel for the remainder of the day. Contributing diverse yet complimentary views, Professor Geremie Barme, Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World, along with Mr Chan Koonchung acclaimed journalist, film producer and author and Professor David Kelly spoke on the role of government in preserving and developing cultural identity and the challenges that are faced with the ongoing monolithic presence of foreign and in particular western influences.

  The first day of the inaugural Australia-China Youth Dialogue has succeeded in initiating an open and honest forum for passionate, insightful and frank discussion. The opportunity has been provided for thirty future leaders in our bi-lateral relationship to forge real and meaningful friendships, an element without which we cannot hope to achieve a genuine understanding of each other.

  The Australia-China Youth Dialogue will continue its program tomorrow, Tuesday, 3 October. If you would like further information regarding the conference we encourage you to visit out website at or contact our media personnel Georgina O’Loughlin on +8613439840457.