What would China do?
Geremie R. Barmé, Linda Jaivin & Vicky Xu hosted by Richard McGregor
With the US in decline and China on the rise, what should Australia do?
In the wake of multiple political crises in the United States, a rich and powerful China increasingly asserts itself. How does Australia navigate this new world order?
Live in-person event | Utzon Room | Talks & Ideas
COVID-19 safety information
The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We’re committed to making your experience safe, comfortable and enjoyable, with a number of measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. We encourage you to wear a mask in indoor settings or when physical distancing can’t be maintained, and please stay home if you feel unwell. If you need to discuss your ticketing or booking options, contact our Box Office team on 02 9250 7777.
Pre-sale and on-sale information
Insider Member Priority – 8am, Tuesday 28 June
Insider Member Priority – 9am, Tuesday 28 June
What's on Priority sale – 9am, Wednesday 29 June
General public on sale – 9am, Friday 1 July
Standard tickets from $33 | $8.50 Booking Fee applies per transaction Save up to 15% with a festival Multipack | Livestream tickets from $15
|Insider (Save 20% on this performance)||$26.40
|Multipack Buy 3 - 4 events and save 10%||$29.70|
|Multipack Buy 5+ events and save 15%||$28.05|
|Livestream festival pass||$55|
|Babes in arms||$10|
Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times
The authorised ticket agency for this event is Sydney Opera House and Vimeo. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the FAQ below.
Enjoy a selection of talks online with a Festival Pass ($55), or purchase an individual livestream ($15). Purchase here.
This talk runs for approximately 60 minutes (no interval)
Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.
How will Australia act when China rules the world?
China will soon overtake the US as the world’s largest economy and has swiftly become a strategic powerhouse with relationships across the globe. This is happening at precisely the time the United States is unable to address the greatest crises in its history: a diminishing consensus around key democratic norms and seemingly irreconcilable sharp and toxic political divisions. It’s hard to argue that these developments won’t be accompanied by the greater assertion by China in the decisions of world affairs, impacting countries like Australia.
What can we expect from China? How would it lead? And how will Australia navigate this changing world? Join Geremie R. Barmé, Linda Jaivin, and Vicky Xu as they search for threat and opportunity for Australia in this new world order.
Presented by Sydney Opera House
Emeritus Professor Geremie R. Barmé is editor of China Heritage, China Heritage Annual, and A New Sinology Reader and is co-founder, with John Minford, of The Wairarapa Academy for New Sinology. He is the founder of the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) at the Australian National University. He was named Emeritus professor at ANU in 2015 and has served as Professor of Chinese History there (1999-2015), as well as Head, Division of Pacific and Asian History, ANU Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (2000-2002). He was an Australian Research Council Fellow from 2005 to 2010. He has collaborated on numerous books, including Trees on the Mountain (1983), Seeds of Fire (1986, 2nd ed. 1988, 1989) and New Ghosts, Old Dreams (1992), and prominent film and website work, including The Gate of Heavenly Peace (1995; www.tsquare.tv) and Morning Sun (2003; www.morningsun.org). He is the author of Shades of Mao (1996) and In the Red (1999), An Artistic Exile (2002) and The Forbidden City (2008), as well as an inestimable body of work in scholarship and translation.
Linda Jaivin is the author of twelve books, including The Shortest History of China. It has been published in the UK and US and is being translated into a dozen languages. Linda is also a novelist and a prolific and widely published essayist, cultural commentator and literary translator specialising in film subtitling. She has studied, lived, and worked in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China. She is co-editor of the China Story Yearbook and editorial associate of the ANU Centre on China in the World.
Vicky Xu is a journalist and writer. She was previously a reporter for The New York Times, ABC, and an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Now she's writing a memoir for Allen & Unwin about growing up in one of China’s poorest provinces, obtaining education in the West, and working in journalism at a time when China turns increasingly authoritarian.
Richard McGregor is Senior Fellow for East Asia at the Lowy Institute, Australia’s premier foreign policy think tank, in Sydney.
Richard is a former Beijing and Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times and the author of numerous books on East Asia.
His most recent book, Xi Jinping: The Backlash, was published by Penguin Australia as a Lowy Institute Paper in August 2019. His book on Sino-Japanese relations, Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century (Penguin Books, 2017), was called “shrewd and knowing” by the Wall Street Journal and the “best book of the year” by the Literary Review in the United Kingdom. In late 2018, it won the Prime Minister of Australia’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. His book, The Party (Penguin Books, 2010), on the inner-workings of the Chinese Communist Party, was translated into seven languages and chosen by the Asia Society and Mainichi Shimbun in Japan as their book of the year.
Richard is a Senior Associate (Non-resident) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the United States. He was also a visiting scholar at the Wilson Center and George Washington University in Washington DC from 2014-2016.
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Bystander intervention is one way we can protect and defend each other and make our community a safer, stronger, and happier place.
Performances are being sold to 100% capacity in line with the NSW Public Health Order. This includes all shows in the Concert Hall, Joan Sutherland Theatre, Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre, Utzon Room and Forecourt. Please note that you will be seated directly alongside other ticketholders.
Our foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.
All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.
- We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice).
- The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
- Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House.
What safety measures have you implemented?
Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of everyone on site, and we are closely following NSW Health guidelines and advice. The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government. For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you when visiting, please see our plan your visit page.
What am I required to do as an audience member?
Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.
As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.
Within venues, always take your allocated seat.
For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you, please see our plan your visit page.
Do I need to be vaccinated to visit the Sydney Opera House?
The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Am I required to wear a mask?
Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.
How are you managing contact tracing?
Contact information is required when making a booking with us and upon arrival at the Opera House, as set out in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events and our Customer Privacy Statement.
As the ticket purchaser, you are responsible for recording the contact details of your guests. Contact information will only be used for the purposes of contact tracing, if required, and will be deleted at least 28 days after your event.
What time do I need to arrive before the event?
Ticket purchases and collection at our Box Office is discouraged and eTicket or postal delivery methods should be used, wherever possible. However, if you are collecting your tickets from the Box Office, we recommend doing this at least 60 minutes before the event starts. If you have already received your tickets, the venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Please take your seats as soon as you arrive.
If you are late, we will seat you as soon as we can and, where possible, in your allocated seat. However, to reduce movement in the venue as well as minimise disruption to the performance and other patrons, ticketholders may be seated in an allocated latecomer’s seat. Please be aware that some events have lock-out periods. In these cases, latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break in the performance. On occasions, this may not be until the interval, or at all where there is no interval.
Details of our right to refuse admission can be found in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Events.
Will there be bag checks, and is cloaking available?
In accordance with our venue security procedures, Opera House security will be scanning and checking bags under the Monumental Stairs, prior to entering the building. Bags will be scanned by an x-ray machine, and staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling your belongings, such as gloves. Cloaking facilities will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 60 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. However it is strongly encouraged that you travel lightly to minimise contact and queuing. Any bags larger than an A4 piece of paper will need to be checked into the Cloak Room.
What safety measures do you have in place?
The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We have a number of safety measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. We encourage visitors to wear a face mask in indoor settings or when physical distancing can’t be maintained. Please stay home if you feel unwell and read more about our flexible ticket options here.
Does my child need to wear a face mask?
Children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face mask.
Who are the authorised ticket sellers for this event?
The authorised agency for this event is the Sydney Opera House.
Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered reliable. If you purchase tickets from a non-authorised agency such as Ticketmaster Resale, Viagogo, Ticketbis, eBay, Gumtree, Tickets Australia or any other unauthorised seller, you risk that these tickets are fake, void or have previously been cancelled. RESALE RESTRICTION APPLIES. For more details, please refer to our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events.
What if I can't come to my performance?
Please contact Box Office on 9250 7777 as soon as possible to advise if you can no longer attend. If you can no longer attend because you are unwell, or have been in contact with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, the Opera House has introduced flexible ticketing options to help you, find out more information here.
Will there be food and beverages available for purchase in the venue?
Foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars.
The venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances.
Please bring a credit or debit card for any on site purchases to enable contactless payment. You’re welcome to bring your own water bottle but no other food and drinks are permitted inside our venues. Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and Portside are also available for you to enjoy.
Will there be pram parking at kids performances?
All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to the foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres consistent with COVID-safe rules.
Can my baby sit on my lap?
Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times. Babies aged 0-2 years old at the time of a performance may be seated on an adult’s lap. Children 2 years and older will need to hold a standard ticket.
Can I smoke at the Opera House?
- The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Sydney Opera House is our top priority. In line with this commitment, the Opera House will become a smoke-free site from Saturday 1 January 2022.
- By becoming a smoke-free site, the Opera House seeks to reduce exposure to harmful second-hand smoke, as well as minimise the impact of smoking on the environment, including litter and pollution of the surrounding marine environment.