The Beijing Bureau: 25 Australian Correspondents Reporting China's Rise, edited by Trevor Watson & Melissa Roberts

Thursday 13 May, 5pm

The Beijing Bureau: 25 Australian Correspondents Reporting China's Rise, edited by Trevor Watson & Melissa Roberts


Join us for an instore event with Trevor Watson and Melissa Roberts, editors of the recently published The Beijing Bureau: 25 Australian Correspondents Reporting China's Rise

In conversation with the editors will be journalist and contributing author Richard Thwaites



or phone 6295 6723


The Beijing Bureau is a collection of essays revealing the insights of twenty-five Australian foreign correspondents into China, from the 1970s to present day: the lives of its people, its government and its culture, and what China's rise means for Australia and the world community.

China dominates the headlines across the world as the country takes for itself a global role. As governments, businesses and individuals increasingly rely on news reports to make decisions, The Beijing Bureau brings together Australia’s most acclaimed journalists to share their hard-won knowledge of China and stories of life as a correspondent: including Mike Smith, Stan Grant, Stephen McDonell, Rowan Callick and Richard McGregor, reporting for international news outlets like the ABC, The New York Times, the BBC, CNN and more.

Vital political and trading relationships are changing – China is flexing its muscles internationally, through the Belt and Road Initiative and trading relationships, through Wolf Warrior diplomacy, through the control of the diaspora and militarily. At home in China, the country is intensifying its hold and extending patriotism; at the same time, Chinese people are experiencing prosperity unrivalled in their history. With essays that cover a range of subjects and written by journalists who have worked and lived in China, The Beijing Bureau provides readers with a thoughtful perspective of this powerful nation.


Trevor Watson is a journalist and author with more than half a century of national and international experience. He has been a regular visitor to China since 1979 and was based in Beijing as Bureau Chief for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 1988-1990. He was also variously based as ABC correspondent in Singapore, Papua New Guinea, India and Thailand, and covered the South Pacific. Trevor is the author of ‘Tremble and Obey, An ABC Correspondent's Account of the Bloody Beijing Spring’, which focuses on the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. He is also the recipient of a Walkley Award and The United Nations media prize for excellence in journalism. He was Director of Media for the University of Sydney’s Business School for ten years.

Melissa Roberts covered China for Time Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor and The Daily Mail as a freelance journalist from 1988 to 1990. She has worked as a staff correspondent for The Australian and AP DowJones, and covered Singapore and Australia for Newsweek magazine for seven years. Melissa has written five children’s books. From 2010 to 2020, she was a senior public relations and media manager with NSW Health.

Richard Thwaites studied Chinese at Melbourne University. He worked in book publishing before joining the ABC in 1974, where he reported for radio and television current affairs programs. In mid-1978 he was appointed Beijing bureau chief for the ABC. Richard returned to Australia in 1983 and worked for a further five years with ABC radio in editorial and management roles in current affairs. 

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