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Bill Birtles, Yun Jiang and Richard Fidler on 'The China Puzzle'

Sydney - Monday 26 April, 2021. The Sydney Opera House today announced that former ABC China correspondent Bill Birtles will appear alongside China policy analyst Yun Jiang on Sunday 23 May in the Playhouse. Together, they will unpack the complex relationship between Australia and China in an essential discussion about one of the biggest geopolitical issues of our time, moderated by author and host of ABC ConversationsRichard Fidler.

Bill Birtles was the ABC's China correspondent in Beijing from 2015 to 2020, his posting coming to a sudden end when he was rushed out of the country following a diplomatic standoff. Reporting from both major cities and remote provinces throughout the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Birtles has covered an era-defining period of change, upheaval and diplomatic tension as China asserted itself on the world stage as a growing superpower. Birtles will reveal why the historic unravelling of China's relations with the West is perceived very differently inside the country.

Joining Birtles in this discussion is China expert, academic researcher and managing editor of The China Story blog at the Australian National University, Yun Jiang. Prior to joining the ANU, Jiang was a policy adviser in the Australian Government, having worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and the Department of Defence. Jiang will speak to historical narratives shaping China’s perception of Australia and the West and the country’s global ambitions.

Sydney Opera House Head of Talks & Ideas Edwina Throsby says: “Like a lot of Australians, I am often confused about China’s role in the contemporary political landscape, and find it difficult to source clear and reliable information about what’s going on and how concerned we should be. This discussion will be a rare opportunity to hear from people who truly understand the situation, having lived and breathed it in their own lives and careers.”

For media information, please contact:

Georgia McKay
Senior Communications Manager
0466 223 293