China's crisis: the international implications

Author/s (editor/s):

Stuart Harris, Jonathan Unger, David Sadleir, Penny Wensley, Peter Dixon, Ian Simington, Tom McNaugher, Geoffrey Jukes, Michael McKinley, Eiichi Katahara, Peter Polomka, Wang Gungwu, Gary Klintworth, Carlyle Thayer, Leszek Buszynski, Ross Garnaut, Peter Van Ness

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 57

China has always been important to countries in the Asia/Pacific region, whether as a vortex of disarray and discontent or - as it has appeared to be, particularly over the last decade - as a modernising great Asian power. In this latter context, China was increasingly accepted as a responsible participant in regional and global affairs. Although China's military capabilities and its political ambitions were regarded with residual distrust by some neighbouring countries, such misgivings were increasingly overshadowed by expectations of a new China possessing the largest potential market remaining in the world today. The Tiananmen affair, as it is now known, seemed to shatter any assumptions about China's stability, its economic potential and certainly some of the illusions about China's political system.

This unique collection of papers begins with an analysis of the political situation in China, as seen from Beijing and Canberra. It provides detailed assessments of the way in which countries throughout the Asia/Pacific region, including Australia, responded or did not respond. There is an overview on Hong Kong and its governability and extensive discussion on the strategic and economic implications, if any, for China and for neighbouring and regional states, of events in Beijing in June 1989.

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