Affinity hosted a lunchtime forum at their Sydney city offices, as part of its lecture series, on Thursday 27 February with a conversation titled “Asia caught between America and China: Maintaining peace and prosperity.”
The keynote speaker at the event was Doug Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Washington DC specialising in foreign policy and civil liberties having worked as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and editor of the political magazine Inquiry.
The event was facilitated by former diplomat Richard Broinowski AO.
As usual with a delicious lunch with the compliments of the sponsors of the event, the audience was welcomed by Dr Alison Broinowski AM, former Australian diplomat and academic who introduced the topic as well as the speakers for the day’s event.
Doug Bandow began his keynote address discussing the relationship between the US and China spanning from trade wars to human rights issues especially with the current oppression against the Uyghurs.
Doug believes that unlike Russia, China indeed is posing as a worthy competitor to US interests globally in various fields. However unlike US, it can not project its military might beyond its immediate region.The audience found it fascinating to hear that the economic relationship between China and the US is having far reaching impact on other nations such as Australia.
Doug reflected on the future impact of the coronavirus outbreak challenging China economically in addition to those of the past including its demographics, large debts, ghost towns, ageing population as a result of its former one child policy.
During the couch conversation with Richard Broinowski, Doug acknowledged that at this stage the none of the Democratic candidate including Bernie Sanders posed a threat to Donald Trump winning a second term for the US presidency. However given the unpredictable behaviour, Trump might shoot himself in the foot during the next nine months paving the way for a change.
The discussion ended with an audience Q & A session with the first question asking about China’s economy and it’s’ effects on the Australian stock market.
Gifts of appreciation were presented to Doug Bandow by Andrew West, host at Radio National ABC.
Tom Switzer, Executive Director, Centre of Independent Studies at the University of Sydney presented a gift Richard Broinowski AO in appreciation.
Jason Constable, team leader at AFP, presented Dr Alison Broinowski AM with a gift of appreciation as well.
Both Andrew West and Tom Switzer briefly highlighted their perspective on the contemporary relationship between the USA and China and its impact on Australia.
Andrew West also emphasised the value of Doug Bandow, not as a conservative right winger but as a true authentic intellectual liberal making him an excellent guest for the chosen topic of the day.
The program concluded with Executive Director of Affinity, Ahmet Polat, closing the event with a few words on his own perspective on the importance of peace and dialogue to foster between these international relationships and how affinity was facilitating it in its own sphere of influence.