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Want to understand China’s ambitions for Britain? Look to Australia

Australia is uneasily perched on the frontier of a new world order—based in Beijing

By Kerry Brown   June 2018

The Sydney Opera House covered in a Chinese flag. Photo: Prospect Composite

I started learning Mandarin in earnest a quarter of a century ago, just after moving to Melbourne. Recognised as the world’s best preserved Victorian city, it also has a vibrant, long-established Chinatown. My wanderings there during lunch breaks whetted my appetite. In the evenings, I memorised characters and learned the pinyin system used to transliterate Chinese characters. For a novice, Melbourne was a Mandarin learner’s paradise.

But travelling on the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide on holiday…

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