It was a lively evening recently at Hurricane’s, the new Australian ribs joint in Beijing, with pin-up snowboarder Scotty James charming a large crowd of excited young Chinese as the snow swirled around outside—a seemingly good omen for the approaching 2022 Winter Olympics.

Former South Australian Liberal senator Sean Edwards was also there, promoting his Kirrihill Wines at the Australian Chamber of Commerce event.

The Chinese ambassador to Australia, Chen Jingye, meanwhile stressed at a rare press conference last week the value of the ‘pragmatic cooperation and exchange between the two countries and the benefits for both sides’. The $124 billion commodities export trade to China will play a big part in delivering a budget surplus ahead of schedule. Tourism continues to rise, while student numbers, already probably at maximum sustainability, hold at a high level.

This ‘pragmatic’ course is one long sought by Australian political leaders and diplomats dating back to Gough Whitlam and Stephen Fitzgerald. And it’s clear, including from such evenings in Beijing, that it continues to have strong value for Australia.

Please click here to read the full “Pragmatism, politics and the rise of China” article published at The Strategist, written by Griffith Asia Institute Industry Fellow, Rowan Callick.