From Overseas Press

A New Sinology

Updated: 2010-04-30 17:23
Large Medium Small

With China's increasingly growing power and influence on the world stage, it is time to establish a new sinology which goes beyond old Cold War concepts of either being anti-China or pro-China, said Kevin Rudd, the Australian prime minister, in an article published by the Wall Street Journal on April 28.

Kevin Rudd deemed that better understanding China poses a complex task. That's why Australia is establishing the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University, he explained, which "seeks to enhance understanding of China, promote dialogue with China and focus specifically on its role in the world."

Related readings:
A New Sinology Understanding China, step by step 
A New Sinology 
Chill, Grasshopper: Understanding China takes time

There are many different conflicting views about China and its future at home and abroad. "There is a hard-line view that regards China's rise as a threat to the existing global order. There is a contrary view that a new "Beijing consensus" should replace the "Washington consensus." he said. "There is still an ongoing debate about the policies of its domestic economic reform although China has benefitted remarkably from it."

Also, China has played a more and more important role internationally, which necessitates the west to understand what role China will, can and must play in shaping the world order. "The realities are more complex than the old binary opposition of anti-China or pro-China. We should be able to express to China views based on our values and beliefs without our core friendship toward China, or China's toward Australia, being called into question. We need a more sophisticated dialogue; a new way forward for a rising great power," said the article.

As far as Australia concerned, Rudd expected a dialogue based on respect, understanding and a mutual recognition of values, by which means being able to speak to China in a frank manner when both interests are engaged. "This new principle for engagement and understanding is as important for China as it is for Australia and the collective West." he concluded.