Talk Summary

Over the last three decades, Australia and China have established mutually beneficial economic ties. However, Australia’s decision to ask for an independent enquiry into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, has led to a backlash from China. Navdeep Suri, India's former High Commissioner to Australia explores some of the salient developments since 2015 that persuaded Australia to take measures aimed at protecting both its open economy and its democratic polity against China’s systematic campaign to expand its influence. He looks at specific examples including the attempts by the Chinese Communist Party to use Australia’s large Chinese community to support its foreign policy objectives, its attempts to secure strategic economic assets in Australia, and its efforts to use corrupt practices for recruiting politicians who would support its agenda. This could also be happening to other democracies - the US, UK, Canada... India?



"Why did the kangaroo punch the dragon and other fables"


Navdeep Suti has been one of our finest diplomats.


Navdeep Suri is Distinguished Fellow and Director, Centre for New Economic Diplomacy at the Observer Research Foundation. He has recently completed a distinguished 36-year career in the Indian Foreign Service, having served in India’s diplomatic missions in Cairo, Damascus, Washington, Dar es Salaam and London and as India’s Consul General in Johannesburg. He has also headed the West Africa and Public Diplomacy departments at the Ministry of External Affairs. He was India’s High Commissioner to Australia and Ambassador to Egypt and UAE. In a rare gesture, the President of UAE conferred on him the Order of Zayed II, the country’s second-highest civilian award. His innovative use of social media in public diplomacy in 2010 also received extensive recognition and two prestigious awards.


Navdeep has learnt Arabic and French, has a Masters degree in Economics and has written on India’s Africa policy, on Public Diplomacy and on the IT outsourcing industry. His English translations of his grandfather Nanak Singh’s classic Punjabi novels have been published by Penguin as ‘The Watchmaker’ and by Harper Collins as ‘A Life Incomplete’ and ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’.

Tel: 040-66360000




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