China-past and present in the eyes of a former Australian diplomat

China Plus Published: 2017-12-27 10:47:30
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Interview with Shelley Warner 

(R5: the late Chinese premier Zhou Enlai; R3: Shelley Warner) [Photo: courtesy by Shelley Warner]

(The fifth from the right: the late Chinese premier Zhou Enlai; the third form the right: Shelley Warner) [Photo: courtesy by Shelley Warner]

Shelley Warner was among the first batch of diplomats coming to China to open the Australian embassy in Beijing, months after China and Australia formally established diplomatic relations. She came back to China as a senior diplomat once again in the 1980s and continued to live and work in China after she left the Foreign Ministry of Australia. 

Couple of days ago, Li Ningjing spoke to Shelley Warner over the phone about the unforgettable moments of her diplomatic career and as an expat who live in Beijing for several decades.

Questions disscussed during the phone interview: 

1. You first came to China as a junior diplomat in 1973, not too long after China and Australia established official diplomatic ties. How did people in Australia view China back then? 

2. What was China like back in 1973? 

3. What was the most unforgettable event happened to you when you were a diplomat? 

4. You returned to the country as a senior diplomat in 1986. This time, did the country and the people gave you a different impression? 

5. If it was your official diplomatic duties that brought you to China for the first couple of times, what was it that made you stay here until now? 

6. What do you love the most about China? 

7. Thirty years is a large part of one’s life to spend in a foreign land. Do you ever regret it? 

8. What do you want to say for the occasion of the 45th anniversary of China-Australia diplomatic ties? 

[The audio clip is from Studio+, produced by CRI] 

Shelley Warner’s story is also covered by “45 Years, 45 Stories”, an initiative of the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

For more stories highlighted in this project, please go to:

[Photo: courtesy by Shelley Warner]

[Photo: courtesy of the Embassy of Australia in Beijing]

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