A leading international scholar on the China–US relationship is joining the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney to provide added expertise and deeper understanding of the relationship between the two superpowers.

CEO Professor Bates Gill said he was very pleased to welcome Linda Jakobson to the Centre's academic team as a visiting professor. Jakobson is also a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, where she served as East Asia program director from 2011 to 2013.

“We are privileged to have Linda join the Centre,” Gill said. “Her work will expand awareness and understanding, inform public and elite opinions, and advance sound policy on the complexities, opportunities, and downsides of the US–China relationship.”

A fluent Mandarin speaker, Jakobson has published extensively on China’s foreign policy and the Taiwan Straits, as well as its energy security and science and technology policies.

“Most Australians know that China is important to Australia, but do not fully appreciate the nuances of the risks and opportunities involved in relations with China,” Jakobson said. “Similarly, most Australians tend to see relations with the United States principally through the lens of the defence alliance.”

One of Jakobson’s major projects at the Centre will be a year-long study into the US–China relationship focusing on societal engagement, economic interdependence, and political and strategic competition. Jakobson will also be developing a course for University of Sydney students on US–China relations.

Before moving to Sydney in 2011, Finnish-born Jakobson lived and worked in China for 20 years and published six books on Chinese and East Asian society. Her last position in Beijing was director of the China and Global Security Programme with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.