We are updating our new website in stages. This page will be changed to the new design but is not currently optimised for mobile devices.
The People's Republic of China
The Chinese Youth League of Sydney is shown raising the Chinese national flag to mark the victory of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949. This was the first time the new five-star red flag was raised in Australia.
The relationship between Australia and China
Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-Tung), the leader of the Communist Party, announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949. Many Chinese associations around the world celebrated this victory by raising the new five-star, red Chinese flag.
The relationship between Australia and China was complicated by the intensifying Cold War, which pitted East against West, and communism against capitalism. Closer to home, the Menzies government committed Australian troops, including a bomber squadron, transport aircraft and a team of army advisers, to Malaya (now Malaysia) to help quell a predominantly Chinese communist guerrilla offensive.
During April 1950, the Australian Peace Council held a congress in Melbourne. Arthur Locke Chang, representing the Chinese Seaman's Union, spoke to great effect of the need for peaceful international co-existence. He continued his work for peace by attempting to improve Australia–China relations. He advocated diplomatic recognition of China by Australia and became a founding member of the Australia–China Friendship Society.