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Geopolitics in a post-pandemic world

US-China co-operation and rivalry, and what it means for Australia

How are the US and China handling the COVID-19 situation? What are the impacts of these decisions domestically, and particularly for Australia's relationship with the two states?

The COVID-19 outbreak is fundamentally reshaping the global strategic landscape. Although the global crisis requires international cooperation, we're seeing US-China tensions rise with coronavirus blame strategies and discussions of economic decoupling. How will the balance of power shift, and what is the world going to look like on the other side of the pandemic?

Facilitated by Bill Birtles, ABC's China correspondent, this discussion will analyse COVID developments in Australia, China and the US, and the socio-economic impacts. Our panel includes scholars specialising in political science, Asia-Pacific security, and government and international relations.

This conversation is co-presented with the China Studies Centre

The speakers

Jingdong specialises in Asia-Pacific security, Chinese defence and foreign policy, and global and regional arms control and non-proliferation issues. A graduate of the Xi'an Foreign Language University, People's Republic of China (1982), he received his Ph.D. in political science from Queen's University in 1995.

He is the co-author of China and India: Cooperation or Conflict? (2003), and his publications have appeared in Asian Survey, Contemporary Security Studies, Los Angeles Times, South China Morning Post, Washington Quarterly, among others.

David is a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney. He is jointly appointed between the United States Studies Centre and the School of Social and Political Sciences. He has a PhD in political science from the University of Michigan and a BA from the University of Sydney.

David's research examines political relations between states and minorities, with a focus on religion in the US. His book Religious Persecution and Political Order in the United States was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.

Minglu is a senior lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations and a member of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. She received her PhD in International Studies from the University of Technology Sydney.

She is the author of Tiger Girls: Women and Enterprise in the People?s Republic of China (2011). She currently works on two ARC discovery projects, 'The new rich and the state in China: the social basis of power?' and 'The geography of power in China: urban expansion and administrative empire'.

Bill is the ABC's China correspondent and has been based in Beijing since 2015, covering some of the biggest stories of recent years, including the rise of Xi Jinping, the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests and upheaval in the Australia-China relationship.

He's reported from South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and from southern China right up to the North Korean border. Prior to the posting in Beijing, he was a ABC news and current affairs journalist in Sydney and also worked for the Asia Pacific News Centre in Melbourne with a focus on China. He has previously studied Mandarin in Beijing and worked in Chinese television.

How to tune in

We're hosting a free webinar on Tuesday 2 June, 11am – 12pm (AEST). Register for the details to join the session on the day.

We're recording this conversation so there will be a podcast, along with the transcript, available later. Watch this space. 

Email us at with the subject line 'COVID-19 geopolitics – Audience question', and we'll pass along your question to the speakers.

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