Opening Remarks – Annual Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Australia and to reciprocate the wonderful hospitality that I received in Shanghai and Beijing last year, it was a resumption of our Annual Leaders’ Meetings. I did have a wonderful time while I was in China and I know that you enjoyed your visit to Adelaide yesterday. And we will also meet again in Perth tomorrow with the business community. At our last Annual Leaders’ Meeting we acknowledged the importance of dialogue and we welcome the continuing stabilisation and development of our bilateral relations. This dialogue has allowed us to build a deeper awareness of our respective interests and in our one-on-one meeting, that we just held, that was reinforced as well. We have continued to take significant steps forward, holding our 7th Australia-China Foreign and Strategic Dialogue and the 17th Joint Ministerial Economic Commission in just the past two months. Preparations for the Strategic Economic Dialogue are underway. This reflects our mutual efforts in stabilising the relationship and in advancing our comprehensive strategic partnership. We share economic complementarities and face many shared challenges that we are well placed to work together on, including, of course, addressing the challenge, but also the opportunities that are arising, from climate change. I warmly welcome the resumption of the people-to-people connections that have long been a lasting bridge between our two countries. Whether through the arts, education or tourism, these ties deepen personal connections between our two great nations. Later today, we will jointly witness the signing of a number of Memorandum of Understandings to drive practical cooperation in these areas. We also have our differences reflecting our different political systems, approaches and priorities and that’s why our candid dialogue is so important. For Australia, we consistently advocate the importance of a region and world that is peaceful, stable and prosperous, where countries respect sovereignty and abide by international laws and obligations enshrined in UN instruments, including with respect to human rights and overall conduct of states. There is no fixed model for a stabilised relationship. Our job is to make sure that we manage our relationship so that we can contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity. Dialogue advances cooperation and addressing our differences without allowing them to define what our relationship is, it is so important. Premier, I look forward to another productive discussion today and invite your opening remarks.

HIS EXCELLENCY LI QIANG, PREMIER OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: The Honourable Prime Minister Albanese, it is such a delight to visit Australia at your invitation and co-chair the 9th Annual Leaders’ Meeting with you. First, I would like to convey to you President Xi Jinping’s cordial greetings and best wishes. In less than one year, we’ve met each other multiple times and we exchanged visits to each other’s beautiful countries. This shows the great importance we attach to our relationship and it also shows that this relationship is on the right track of steady improvement and development. I arrived in Adelaide the day before yesterday and yesterday I arrived in Canberra and along the way I have seen a thriving and dynamic Australia. Mr Prime Minister, under your leadership, the Australian Government has taken practical measures to grow its economy, improve peoples livelihoods, ease inflation and promoting equity, you have done an excellent job, China commends you on this and congratulations. This year marks the 10th anniversary of President Xi Jinping’s State Visit to Australia and our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. How our relations evolved over the past ten years has provided us with a lot of valuable experience. And the most important of which is that we should uphold mutual respect, seek common grounds while sharing differences, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation. Mr Prime Minister, I sincerely hope that during my current visit, I will work with you to build a more mature, stable and fruitful Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between our two countries to deliver more benefits to our two peoples. Mr Prime Minister, I’m ready to exchange views with you on issues of mutual interest. Thank you.

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