THE AUSTRALIA-CHINA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
OF NEW SOUTH WALES
Established in 1976 ACN 002 816 622
Secretariat & Agents Governor: Correspondence to:
National and International The Lord Mayor of Sydney, G.P.O. Box 3671
ACCCI Pty. Limited Patron: Sydney NSW 1044
ACN 008 613 590 The Consul General of the Telephone 61 2 9451 3130
People’s Republic of China Facsimile 61 2 9451 3575
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rdMichael C. H. Jones, President ACCCI, 3 September 2004
Mr Wu Qiming, Director – Jiangmen Municipal Government Bureau of Foreign Trade &
Economic Cooperation, fellow guests from Guangdong and New South Wales, it is good to be with you for lunch at the Quay Chinese Seafood Restaurant, Sydney on such a sunny day with glorious views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House as well as the Rocks District which was where Australia was founded and first settled in 1788.
Unlike some “modern” businessmen, I believe history is very important – otherwise how can
we all learn from facts to quote some of your great leaders of the recent past.
In this context Guangdong Province is still very important both in China and for it‟s economic, social and political relationship with Australia and in particular the State of New South Wales. People from Guangdong are historically famous throughout the globe as seafarers and traders and have been the pioneering leaders of the opening up of China to the world over the last 25 years. Indeed in the months of December 1978 and January 1979 the People‟s Republic of China officially opened to the world and was formally recognised as the sole legitimate government of China, with Taiwan as an inseparable Province, by President Jimmy Carter of the United States of America. Australia under the leadership of ALP Prime Minister Gough Whitlam had been somewhat in advance of America doing the same in December 1972.
In 1979 the then ALP Premier of New South Wales Neville Wran signed the New South Wales/Guangdong Sister State Relationship Cooperative Agreement. The current ACCCI Vice President Marilyn Walker was present at the launch in Sydney. The subsequent JEM (Joint Economic Meetings) have until recently been held on an annual basis, and currently on a bi-annual basis alternatively in Sydney and Guangzhou – in 2004 it is the turn of ndrdGuangzhou on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 December which will be addressed by the NSW
Minister for Small Business, The Hon David Campbell MP.
Over these 25 years the entire Pearl River Delta under the leadership of Guangzhou, and with great support from Hong Kong SAR and Shenzhen City, has opened up to the world to become a global powerhouse of business, industry and commerce. Similarly the Greater Sydney Region from Newcastle in the North to Wollongong in the South and Penrith in the West has truly become a global metropolis recognised for it‟s international standards and „good citizenship‟.
One of the key cities in the Pearl River Delta is Jiangmen Municipality. I must say that Jiangmen has prospered remarkably over the last 10/15 years –I was surprised by some of
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the facts Mr Wu Qiming told me earlier today - now a city of almost four million in population with an export value of about $US3.6 billion per year and over one million migrants to the USA. Indeed I recently met some during my seven city visit to Washington, New York, Miami, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas. I can understand why Jiangmen currently represents nearly one third of the economic value of the entire Pearl River Delta Region. As you will read on the ACCCI Website at www.accci.com.au the Chamber has been conscious of this remarkable development.
During my recent discussions with a very great cross section of American people it became clear to me that the Chamber emphasis on “People Diplomacy” outside direct government involvement, initiated by our founding executive in the mid and late 1970s, was both perceptive and pioneering. Increasingly governments, and alternative governments, whether the Republicans and Democrats in the USA or Liberal and Labor Parties in Australia, look to the centre re 51% of the vote to be elected to office. This means many initiatives – economic, social and political - must be launched and pioneered by non-government organisations. Businessmen need to lead governments in many areas. And I refer particularly to economic stability through the peaceful resolution of differences by recognised international norms and institutions.
In this sense we all are holding our breath for America during its presidential election. If the Doctrine of Pre-emptive Strike is accepted at international law, as promoted in the actions of President‟s Bush and Prime Ministers Blair and Howard, then the principle is equally applicable to European countries including Russia and Asian countries such as India and China. Indeed some would argue that Israel, rightly or wrongly, has been implementing this Doctrine of Pre-emptive Strike for several years.
Should the issue of Taiwan Province get out of hand for whatever reason, and any of the parties feel free to launch pre-emptive strikes, then the Straits of Taiwan will run red with the blood of countless thousands of people and not only from China. The American people do not have the stomach for what they will view day after day on their television sets – nor
will Australian and Chinese citizens.
So an issue that is now vital for all countries, and particularly the Anglo-Saxon nations of the USA, UK and Australia, is the accuracy of the information provided by their respective intelligence services – a reading of recent reports „savaging‟ all three is very disturbing. That governments can launch pre-emptive strikes against other countries based on this sort of information is positively frightening. We do not want the same mistakes regarding Taiwan Province or any other part of the world.
People Diplomacy by business organisations to make sure governments act with great restraint based on accurate information is essential.
I conclude by drawing your attention to a speech by the former Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Senator Gareth Evans, to the Australia-Asia Association in thMelbourne on 15 March 1990. An oldie but a goodie.
Speaking about the ideas of “public diplomacy” and “second track diplomacy” Foreign and Trade Minister Senator Evans said in part:
“All diplomacy is an exercise in persuasion and influence. Public diplomacy differs only in its methodology and in terms of whom it sets out to influence and persuade. Traditional diplomacy seeks to influence the influential. Public diplomacy too reaches out to the
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decision makers and opinion formers, but it also casts its net much wider, beyond the influential few to the „uninvolved‟ many”.
“The essence of public diplomacy is the shaping of attitudes in other countries in a way
which is favourable to our national interests. Its starting premise is that familiarity, far from breeding contempt, can in international relations be a spur to broadly based links between nations. We need to be concerned about what other nations think of us for the good reason that the images which others carry of us influence their attitudes to us – not only in a
general sense, but also with regard to our security requirements, to our goods and services, to our appeal as a place to invest in, to migrate to, to visit and so on”.
“Second track diplomacy – the advancement of common interests through non-government
channels – reflects the reality that foreign policy is a product not just of government fiat, but of a complex interaction of domestic interests and values with other national and international interests. Second track diplomacy is important because relations between States no longer run exclusively along fixed rails of „first track‟ diplomacy – the diplomacy of
“ BUT NEITHER SECOND TRACK DIPLOMACY, NOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY MORE
GENERALLY, ARE ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT SEEKING TO MANIPULATE OR
CONTROL WHAT IS DONE INTERNATIONALLY OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT AREA.
Public diplomacy is not about tethering community groups to the government‟s foreign
policy agenda. It is not even about coordinating government and non-government activity. Above all it is not about creating front organisations. IT IS ABOUT THE VALUE TO AUSTRALIA OF BUILDING UP A MULTIDIMENSIONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH ASIA AND
BEYOND. AND IT IS A RECOGNITION THAT ROUNDED RELATIONS, OF THE SORT
THAT IT IS IN OUR COMMON INTEREST TO DEVELOP, CANNOT BE BUILT BY
GOVERNMENTS ALONE. THEY MUST ALSO EMBRACE THE EXCHANGE OF PEOPLE
This has been the Chamber message to China for many years. It is the message I recently took to friends in America and will take to friends in Europe later in the year. In a global society where powerful governments talk and implement doctrines of pre-emptive strike „people diplomacy‟ is more important than ever.
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