For Australia and China, The Long View

Stephen Joske discusses the future of Australian-Chinese relations, July 22, 2010.  (1 min, 58 sec)
SYDNEY, July 22, 2010 - Stephen Joske, Director of the Economist Intelligence Unit's China Forecasting Service, forecasts closer economic ties between Australia and China, despite Kevin Rudd's downfall as prime minister.

In a video interview recorded following an address in Sydney for Asialink and the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre, Joske emphasised that Australia and China have a strong complementary economic relationship that will need a supportive political environment. His priority for Australian engagement with China was long-term planning.

"[Australia] needs to stop for a moment and set up a broad strategic framework that's clear to both sides for the future of the relationship," he said.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's China Forecasting Service was recently established to provide rigorous macroeconomic modeling and forecasting for all China's provinces, providing unique insights into patterns of development within China.

From 2004 to 2007, Joske worked at the Australian Embassy in Beijing as the Senior Australian Treasury Representative to China. His area of responsibility included mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Regarding Kevin Rudd's downfall as prime minister, Joske said that officials in Beijing were surprised, but "not surprised in the sense that there's a problem."

"They're really not familiar with our Westminster-style political system, where the party can elect a leader or get rid of a leader at any time," he said.

Reported by Will McCallum