China: Australia's Policy Options

National Security College | Professional course
China: Australia's Policy Options


China is a major geopolitical actor. Australia needs to understand key aspects of China’s worldview and outlook in order to negotiate strategic shifts and economic influence. This course is a critical conversation on the implications of China for Australia’s interests.

Course date: 
9am 7 August – 5pm 8 August 2019
#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

A fee of $2,250 (GST ex) applies to this course for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $2,700 (GST ex).

Course overview

This two-day course looks at challenges and opportunities arising from China as a major geopolitical actor. It explores current aspects of China’s development, worldview and outlook, including the economy and key economic drivers, political dynamics and social challenges, defence priorities and aspirations, technical innovation, internal security challenges, strategic objectives, and implications for Australian interests.

Scope and content

Day 1 of the course introduces participants to China’s place in the world and the relationship with Australia. This includes understanding China in historical context, its development path, China’s regional and global relations, and the shape of the bilateral relationship.

Building on this introduction, Day 2 is a deep dive into the key issues facing China, the choices China needs to make, the choices for major powers including the US, and the options for Australia. Participants at this course will explore the following issues:

  • Pathways for the Chinese economy, polity and society
  • Drivers of Chinese strategic and foreign policy
  • Geo-economics in Chinese external policy
  • China’s security capabilities and influence

Who should attend?

All staff needing a deeper understanding of China, the implications for Australian public policy and national security interests.

“I really enjoyed the course, and found it to be highly relevant to my work area. The course coordinators made efforts throughout the two days to ensure that the course was tailored to the group’s interests as conveyed through our questions. I would recommend this course to anyone whose job touches on the Australia-China interaction in a national security setting.”

Course details

  • Two day non-residential, fully-catered course.
  • An ANU parking permit will be supplied.
  • Course Timings: 9:00am - 5:00pm

    Please contact us at for further information and to obtain the registration form.

“The course was exceptionally good for someone, like me, who’s engaging with China more frequently but only has general knowledge and a limited viewpoint. I’ve recommended this as a preferred and valuable course in my work unit.”

Course convenor

Mr Brad Fallen

Brad Fallen joined the National Security College as Manager, Executive and Professional Development in March 2018, on secondment from the Department of Home Affairs. Brad’s professional national security experience includes international relations, intelligence, Cabinet and ministerial decision-making, and policy development and delivery. As Senior Adviser International Cyber Policy in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) from 2014, Brad was part of the small team who delivered Australia’s 2016 Cyber Security Review and Strategy. He then implemented the Strategy for 18 months from the Office of the Cyber Security Special Adviser. Brad led PM&C’s National Security Committee Secretariat between 2011 and 2014, supporting Prime Ministers Gillard, Rudd and Abbott, and before this the Department of Defence’s Cabinet and Freedom of Information teams from 2008 to 11. He was Defence Adviser to the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, the Hon Bruce Scott MP, in 2000-01. Brad studied South Pacific history at the University of Queensland before joining the Department of Defence’s Graduate program in 1988. Brad’s career in Defence focused on Australia’s regional relationships, and included three years as First Secretary (Defence) at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, and two years seconded to the New Zealand Government in Wellington.

Dr Michael Clarke, NSC

Dr Michael Clarke is an internationally recognised expert on the history and politics of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China (PRC), Chinese foreign policy in Central Asia, Central Asian geopolitics, and nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation. He has generated numerous academic publications across these fields of research including one sole authored book, one co-authored book, five edited books, thirty-four peer reviewed journal articles, and fourteen book chapters. He also regularly provides expert media commentary on Uyghur/Xinjiang and Chinese foreign policy-related issues to national and international media and has published commentary with Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, CNN, BBC News, South China Morning Post, and The Diplomat amongst others. He has also provided advice and testimony to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission on Chinese policy in Xinjiang and China’s foreign policy in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Teaching NSPO8015 Asian Regionalism NSPO8024 American National Security Policy

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