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The 'Fractured' Chinese Corporate and Political Ecosystem: A Book Launch & Presentation

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Event description

Many Australian and international policymakers/commentators have expressed deep concern about the expansion of Chinese corporations overseas. They are especially suspicious of Chinese firms being utilized as tools to promote Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence in ways that undermine the “rules-based” democratic order. Colin Hawes will present key insights from his recently published book The Chinese Corporate Ecosystem (Cambridge University Press 2022) followed by a Q&A session with the audience. He will argue that the influence of the CCP over Chinese business corporations is surprisingly limited, due to the complex and fragmentary structure of the Chinese political ecosystem. Rather than viewing Chinese corporations as subservient tools of a CCP-led authoritarian hierarchy, we should recognize their capacity to act as autonomous agents within this fractured corporate-political ecosystem –- pursuing their own commercial interests in China and overseas in ways that regularly subvert Communist Party policies. This revised understanding should foster a more nuanced and effective engagement between Australian policymakers and the Chinese government.

This hybrid in-person/zoom event is jointly hosted by the Law Faculty's Private Law and Beyond Interest Group and the UTS Australia-China Relations Institute. A light lunch will be provided at 12pm prior to the presentation at 12.30pm. Online attendees will be able to ask questions on the day using the Q&A function in Zoom.

About the Speaker: Dr. Colin Hawes is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney. He has an LL.B. and a Ph.D. in Chinese studies from UBC, Canada, and a B.A. Hons. from Durham University, UK. He also studied Chinese language at People’s University in Beijing and Wuhan University. He has published widely on Chinese corporations, law, and culture, including three books, the latest of which is The Chinese Corporate Ecosystem.

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