The Tragedy of Great Power Politics? (Crisis Simulation Session)

ACYD 2012 Wargaming Session

Session Coordinator: Jakob Mayer

Two things are often said about the Australia-China relationship. The first is that Australia has no need to choose between its economic relationship with China, and its security and defence relationship with the United States. The second is that Australia is torn between its largest trading partner, China, and the nation that has been Australia’s ‘great and powerful friend’ since World War II, the US. As China rises and seeks a ‘new type of great power relationship’ with the US and the rest of the world, will this result in greater Sino-US conflict and difficult choices for Australia, or can these two superpowers coexist peacefully?

The Defence and International Affairs Session explores how China relates to the rest of the world, and what the implications of this are for the Australia-China relationship. The crisis simulation component of the session will provide a practical demonstration of Australia-China international relations in action. Delegates will come away from the session with a greater understanding of the future trajectory of the relationship, potential flashpoints in the Asia-Pacific region, and the pressures that government policy makers face when dealing with an international crisis.

Professor Emeritus Paul Dibb AO

Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies; and Chairman, ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

Paul Dibb is Emeritus Professor of strategic studies and Chairman of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at The Australian National University. He was head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre from 1991 to 2003. His previous positions include: Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defence, Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation, and Head of the National Assessments Staff (National Intelligence Committee).

He is the author of 5 books and 4 reports to government, as well as more than 120 academic articles and monographs about the global strategic outlook, the security of the Asia-Pacific region, the US alliance, and Australia’s defence policy. He wrote the 1986 Review of Australia’s Defence Capabilities (the Dibb Report) and was the primary author of the 1987 Defence White Paper. He also published a book in 1986, which was reprinted in 1987 and had a second edition in 1988, entitled The Soviet Union: the Incomplete Superpower (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies).

At the request of the Foreign Minister, he has represented Australia at six meetings of the ASEAN Regional Forum’s Experts and Eminent Persons Group between 2006 and 2012 with the most recent one being in Bangkok in February 2012. Under the Howard Government, he was a member of the Foreign Minister’s Foreign Policy Council for 9 years.

Michael Shoebridge

First Assistant Secretary Strategic Policy, Department of Defence

Michael Shoebridge has been First Assistant Secretary Strategic Policy since May 2011. Previously to this he was the First Assistant Secretary Defence, Intelligence and Research Coordination in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to this he was Deputy Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation, and he was the Counsellor Defence Policy at the Australian Embassy in Washington. He has experience across a range of policy areas within the Australian Government, within the Department of Defence, the Department of Finance and Administration and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has worked in two Australian Commonwealth Ministers’ offices and also on secondment with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence.

Mr Shoebridge has a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney and also a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Technology in Sydney. He joined the Department of Defence as a Graduate.

Professor Michael Wesley

Professor of National Security, Australian National University

Michael Wesley is Professor of National Security at the Australian National University. His career has spanned academia, with previous appointments at the University of New South Wales, Griffith University, the University of Hong Kong, Sun Yat-sen University and the University of Sydney; government, where he worked as Assistant Director General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments; and think tanks, in which he was Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Professor Wesley has also served as the Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, a Trustee of the Queensland Art Gallery and a Board Member of the Australia Television Network. He is a Non-Executive Member of the Senior Leadership Group of the Australian Federal Police. His most recent book, There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia, won the 2011 John Button Prize for the best writing on Australian public policy.


Associate Professor, UNSW School of Social Sciences and International Studies

You Ji is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Sciences and International Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. You Ji’s research interests include China's political and economic reform, elite politics, and military modernisation and foreign policy. His current projects focus on military transformation and issues in post-Cold War foreign policy and security matters.

Research Areas

Chinese politics and government, China’s economic reform and development, international relations with emphasis on Asia/Pacific, China's civil/military relations and PLA transformation, China's changing state/society relations and defence and security studies in Asia/Pacific

Dr Amy King (Facilitator)

Lecturer, ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

Dr Amy King is a lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. She received her doctorate in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where she was an Australian Rhodes Scholar. Her research focuses on Sino-Japanese relations; the economic-security nexus; and the legacy of war, imperialism and late industrialisation in Asia. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours in International Studies) and a Bachelor of International Business from the University of South Australia, and an M.Phil in Modern Chinese Studies (Distinction) from the University of Oxford. She has also studied at Peking University in China, and Okayama University in Japan, and was a delegate at the inaugural Australia-China Youth Dialogue in 2010. Prior to coming to the ANU, Amy taught at the University of Oxford and University of South Australia, and worked as a research analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

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