Single title

Taking the low road

China's influence in Australian states and territories

On 15 February, we officially launched our joint ASPI-KAS 'Taking the low road - China's influence in Australian states and territories' report on the changing nature and influence of CCP engagement with civil society across Australia's state and territories.

While this book offers fascinating case studies of PRC engagement with Australian subnational entities, China’s global reach means that many countries have had similar experiences. This also includes Germany.

Since Germany and China developed close economic ties in the 1990s, bilateral investment promotion and political exchanges on the state level (Länderebene) have become an important pillar in the two countries’ exchanges. However, from the Chinese side, such relations never take place purely at the state level but are centrally coordinated by the People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, which is connected to the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee. Such activities are, therefore, more and more in line with the basic ideas of the party.

Recently, China’s increasingly assertive behaviour, its application of coercive mechanisms in its foreign relations and reports of human rights violations have led to Germany revisit its relationship and strategy in dealing with China. In view of this, it’s become more important for decision-makers, economic actors and the German public to get a full picture of economic and political links in China’s engagement at the Länderebene.

We were, therefore, delighted to partner with ASPI in this very important project, which aims to provide specific, actionable policy recommendations and will be used to brief policymakers and other stakeholders on the federal and municipal levels. 


Sophia Brook

Sophia Brook

Programme Coordinator Research and Analysis
Foreign and Security Policy +61 2 6154 9325