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Where Chinese Influence Matters

31 Aug 2017
Interview with Professor Bates Gill and Linda Jakobson

As tensions continue to escalate on the Korean Peninsula, what weight can China bring to bear on Pyongyang?

When North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile across northern Japan this week, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke of the influence Beijing could use to prevent further provocation by Pyongyang. But what tools does China really have in order to sway its neighbour?

Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer at China Matters, Linda Jakobson, and Professor Bates Gill of Macquarie University have between them been watching China for more than 60 years and say that what China wants least is the disintegration of its unruly ally. However, there is increasing pressure from Washington to add to economic sanctions with restrictions on Pyongyang’s ability to use the Chinese banking system.

Jakobson and Gill are co-authors of China Matters and AIIA Director of Communications, Annabel McGilvray spoke to them before they launched their book at AIIA NSW on 29 August. In addition to the ramifications of North Korea’s 29 August missile firing, they discussed the relationship between China and Australia and the importance of principles, prosperity and security in that context.

Linda Jakobson is the founding director and chief executive officer of the public policy initiative, China Matters. She is most recently the co-author of ‘China Matters’ (La Trobe University Press, 2017). She is speaking at the AIIA National Conference on 16 October.

Dr Bates Gill is a board director of the public policy initiative, China Matters, and professor at Macquarie University. He is co-author of ‘China Matters’ (La Trobe University Press, 2017) among other books, and was previously professor of Asia-Pacific strategic studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at ANU.

Interview by AIIA Director of Communications Annabel McGilvray.

Filmed by AIIA NSW Intern Mitchell Travers.