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The Australian National University

Key Country Briefing

Understanding China

Chinese soldiers

This popular series focuses on an integrated analysis of strategic, economic, political and societal trends in a number of countries which engage vital Australian interests. It is an ideal way to gain or refresh insights into key countries in the Indo-Pacific and globally.

Looking at challenges and opportunities over the next three to five years, this course examins the China’s developing characteristics, including the state of the economy, political and social outlooks, defence priorities and aspirations, technical innovation, internal security challenges, strategic objectives, and implications for Australian interests.

You will take a ‘deep dive’ through a series of interactive presentations, syndicate and hypothetical sessions.

Course Scope and Content

The issues to be addressed include the following:

  • China’s growing strengths including its economic weight, defence assets, innovation capabilities and expanding regional and global influence
  • China's challenges including its new economic growth model, the political, social and economic implications of its reform agenda, its demography, its environmental issues and its capacity to exert ‘soft power’
  • The implications of social and economic change on China’s governance structures
  • China’s international objectives and strategies, and
  • The implications for Australian public policy priorities.

Who should attend the course?

This course is designed for officers from all departments and agencies who would benefit from a deeper understanding of China and its implications for Australian public policy. APS5 – SES Band 2 policy officers and equivalents in national security agencies will benefit from these courses.

Course Details

This is a two-day non-residential, fully-catered course.

An ANU parking permit will be supplied.

The fee for this course is $2,110 (GST exclusive) for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $2,550 (GST exclusive). Please contact us for information about becoming an NSC Partner organisation.

Next date and venue

19-20 April 2017
National Security College

Crawford Building #132a

1 Lennox Crossing
The Australian National University


Please send your nomination to


Testimonials from 'Understanding China'

“Attendance at the NSC ‘Understanding China’ course will ensure that officers develop a broad appreciation for the scope of Australia’s engagement with China and will thereby produce better dividends for their departments. I thoroughly recommend this course to any officer whose duties touch on China and I would consider it essential for officers working full time on developing or implementing Australian policy on China.”

"This course was a fantastic way for busy executives to gain informative and valuable insight to a country fundamental to Australia’s future."

Download the course FLYER (PDF)


Updated:  29 March 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/ Page Contact:  Web administrator, National Security College