Brushing aside concerns about bird flu, 30,000 dead pigs floating down the Huangpu River, which feeds into the majestic Bund of Shanghai, and the possibility of nuclear war with DPRK, the Australian Government has progressed its China dialogue with a view to improving relationships over the long term.
The Government last week published its “implementation plan”, coinciding with Australian Prime Minister Gillard’s visit to Bejing. The plan puts some structure to the White Paper published earlier this year about Australia’s place in the “Asian Century”.
According to lawyers King & Wood Mallesons – a joint Chinese-Australian firm – the implementation plan summarises the progress that has been made to date against the White Paper objectives and sets out the implementation arrangements and governance structures for the Federal Government to work with various stakeholders including State, Territory and local governments, businesses, educational institutions, unions, academics and community groups to achieve them.
The firm says: ”The Federal Government has continued the development of its thinking around Australia’s engagement with Asia and has taken a number of significant and positive steps to ensure that there will be a coordinated approach across the various stakeholders and continued engagement of the public on Asian Century issues.
“One important outcome of the White Paper has been the take-up by State and Territory Governments on their policy initiatives around engagement with Asia. However, apart from the governance arrangements, there is little detail about major policy initiatives and the timing of their implementation.
“The governance arrangements for the implementation of the White Paper include:
- Establishing the Australia in the Asian Century Committee of Cabinet;
- Appointing the Honorable Dr Craig Emerson as the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy;
- Establishing the Strategic Advisory Board to provide advice to the Prime Minister and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy on the implementation of the White Paper. The Strategic Advisory Board will be chaired by the CEO of Leightons, Hamish Tyrwhitt;
- Establishing the Deputy Secretaries Steering Committee to provide direction and guidance across all Australian Government agencies on the implementation of White Paper outcomes; and
- Establishing the Australia in the Asian Century Implementation Taskforce, based in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to support the implementation of the White Paper across Government.”
For details of King & Wood Malleson’s views, go to: http://www.mallesons.com/publications/marketAlerts/2013/Pages/Australia-in-the-Asian-Century-White-Paper-Implementation-Plan-.aspx