Experts from around the world have come together at the Australian National University to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the world, including the rise of China and the role of the United States in the Asia Pacific region.
Former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and China’s leading international relations scholar Professor Wu Xinbo opened the Crawford Australian Leadership Forum (CALF) with a discussion about the role of China and the US in the Asia-Pacific.
In a discussion moderated by ANU Chancellor and former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, AC QC, the two discussed China’s growing economic and strategic interests.
Dr Campbell said many people were worried about growing competition in Asia that could lead to conflict.
“That is in noone’s strategic interests,” Dr Campbell said, adding the US was keen to engage China in a new 21st century relationship.
“This relationship need not end in hostility,” he said.
Professor Wu, Executive Dean of International Studies at China’s Fudan University, said China’s rise in recent decades has been an economic rise, not a military rise. He said China had become a major trading partner in the region and a source of direct foreign investment.
“These kinds of developments have re-shaped the geo-economic landscape,” Professor Wu said.
He said the greater economic integration in the region meant China had a strong stake in ensuring regional stability and peace.
The two-day Crawford Australia Leadership Forum was designed to promote discussion and debate about pressing economic, political and international issues.
Speakers include senior ministers, academics, economists, business leaders and public servants, as well as experts from around the world.
The theme of the 2014 conference is global realities, domestic choices.