By Peng Dawei, Wu Xinru
(ECNS) -- "We should be trying to understand Chinese point of view and their culture. That's important for maintaining world stability and world peace," noted Colin Mackerras, world-renowned Australian sinologist, in an exclusive interview with China News Network. There would be more bilateral trade as the relations are getting better, said Mackerras.
Mackerras is now working as a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and emeritus professor at Griffith University. Since the 1960s, he has engaged in research on China.
To Mackerras' observation, more wines will be exported to China from Australia and more Chinese tourists will be traveling to Australia. Besides, bilateral educational cooperation will pick up and students will have more opportunities to study in each other's countries. Good signs have been released about the positive development of Australia-China relations since the current Australian government is better at diplomacy.
Mackerras admits that differences on some issues do exist between the two sides, but he thinks there is no "clash of civilization". "I think there is a clash of interests and there may be a clash of ideologies, but as for clash of civilizations, I doubt that very much," he explained.
He further pointed out that advocating the "clash of civilizations" means dividing the world into several different kinds of civilizations and saying that by their nature, they have to clash. He stressed, "I really doubt that very much. I don't think that's the case. We need to maintain dialogue and people-to-people exchange even during difficult times."
He also suggested that countries try to understand each other and cooperate within the world so Australia should be having good relations with other countries, especially important countries like China. In the interview, he said, "We should be trying to understand the Chinese point of view and their culture. That's important for maintaining world stability and world peace".
Apart from these suggestions, the sinologist with decades of experience warned that the Australian government should not treat China in a contemptuous manner or judge it on human rights and other issues, saying it could lead to conflicts.
Speaking of the dissemination of Chinese culture in Australia, he noted that even though Australia tends to identify itself as a multicultural country, British and American cultures are still preeminent in the current Australian society. He hopes that more Australians can understand and appreciate Chinese culture.
"China's got a great civilization. It's got a great history and a lot of great ideas in its cultural traditions," said Mackerras. In his eyes, it would be a good thing if there is more Chinese influence on Australian culture.
He didn't mince his words when talking about the negative impact of the America-built bloc in the Asia-Pacific region and said that he was disappointed when the Australian government chose to be dependent on the United States and copy everything they do.
"Some of what they (the U.S.) do is terrible." Mackerras indicated. "I just don't want to have our defense so dependent on the United States that we are almost automatically obliged to regard China as the threat but it's not a threat to Australia," he concluded.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed on Thursday that he would visit China later this year. Mao Ning, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson responded on the same day that China welcomes Prime Minister Albanese to visit China at the invitation of Premier Li Qiang and is willing to work with Australia to make preparations.