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Bill Birtles, Yun Jiang and Richard Fidler on ‘The China Puzzle’. Sydney Opera House

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Martin Cid Magazinehttps://martincid.com
Martin Cid Magazine is a publication of entertainment, arts, culture and movies

Sydney – Monday 26 April, 2021. The Sydney Opera House today announced that former ABC China correspondent Bill Birtles will appear alongside China policy analyst Yun Jiang on Sunday 23 May in the Playhouse. Together, they will unpack the complex relationship between Australia and China in an essential discussion about one of the biggest geopolitical issues of our time moderated by author and host of ABC ConversationsRichard Fidler.

Bill Birtles was the ABC’s China correspondent in Beijing from 2015 to 2020, his posting coming to a sudden end when he was rushed out of the country following a diplomatic standoff. Reporting from both major cities and remote provinces throughout the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Birtles has covered an era-defining period of change, upheaval and diplomatic tension as China asserted itself on the world stage as a growing superpower. Birtles will reveal why the historic unravelling of China’s relations with the West is perceived very differently inside the country.

Joining Birtles in this discussion is China expert, academic researcher and managing editor of The China Story blog at the Australian National University, Yun Jiang. Prior to joining the ANU, Jiang was a policy adviser in the Australian Government, having worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and the Department of Defence. Jiang will speak to historical narratives shaping China’s perception of Australia and the West and the country’s global ambitions.

Sydney Opera House Head of Talks & Ideas Edwina Throsby says: “Like a lot of Australians, I am often confused about China’s role in the contemporary political landscape, and find it difficult to source clear and reliable information about what’s going on and how concerned we should be. This discussion will be a rare opportunity to hear from people who truly understand the situation, having lived and breathed it in their own lives and careers.”

Former ABC China correspondent Bill Birtles
Former ABC China correspondent Bill Birtles

About Bill Birtles

Bill Birtles was the ABC’s China correspondent in Beijing from 2015 to 2020, his posting coming to a sudden end when he was rushed out of the country by Australian diplomats in an unprecedented diplomatic standoff. Reporting from both major cities and remote provinces throughout the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, he covered an era-defining period of change, upheaval and diplomatic tension as China asserted itself on the world stage. Originally from Sydney, Birtles first studied Mandarin in the Chinese capital and later worked inside the government’s most important state media and propaganda organ, the Xinhua newsagency, before returning to Beijing for the ABC. He is now covering South-East Asia as the ABC’s Indonesia Bureau Chief, based in Jakarta.

About Yun Jiang

China policy analyst Yun Jiang
China policy analyst Yun Jiang

Yun Jiang is a managing editor of The China Story blog at the Australian National University and produces China Neican. She has published widely on China-related topics and has been quoted in several major national and international press, including New York Times, Financial Times, ABC, BBC, Al-Jazeera, South China Morning Post and Washington Post. Prior to joining the ANU, she was a policy adviser in the Australian Government, having worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and the Department of Defence. Her extensive policy experience covers international economy, trade, multilateral institutions, foreign investment, critical infrastructure, Commonwealth-state relations, economic diplomacy, and military diplomacy.

About Sydney Opera House Talks & Ideas

Sydney Opera House’s year-round Talks & Ideas program has featured appearances by some of the biggest names in current affairs and contemporary culture. Speakers range from canonical novelist and essayist Zadie Smith to New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan, artist Ai Weiwei, Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud, celebrity food writers Nigella Lawson and Yotam Ottolenghi, philosopher Alain de Botton, scientist Stephen Hawking, artist Yoko Ono, and podcast host Ira Glass, among many others. In addition to year-round events tackling the big questions of our time, the Sydney Opera House Talks & Ideas program features annual festivals All About Women and Antidote, and its own successful podcast series, Ideas at the House.

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