Australia's China explores the multifaceted and dynamic Australian encounter with China from the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 through the Cold War to the Australian recognition of the PRC in 1972. Going beyond conventional policy studies, it traces the patterns in Australian reactions to China from the grass-roots to official circles, highlighting the centrality of images concerning the exotic, disease, sexuality, the frontier, and China as a paradise/anti-paradise. In responding to China, Australians revealed something of themselves, and this book maps the formation of Australian conceptions of identity in the context of a cross-cultural encounter which was variously co-operative, enriching, baffling, and antagonistic. But there was no single Australian conception of China. Rather, competing perceptions jostled in a shifting dialogue.