Premier Li’s visit continues stabilisation of relationship with China

Prime Minister

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has welcomed Premier Li Qiang’s visit to Australia as an important milestone in stabilising our relationship with China.

Engagement and dialogue between Australia and China at the highest levels are central to our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Premier Li’s visit, the first by a Chinese Premier since 2017, included political, business and cultural activities across Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.

In Canberra, leaders met for their Annual Leaders’ Meeting, which built on discussions held in Beijing in November 2023.

The Prime Minister raised the full range of Australia’s interests during the meeting, including consular, human rights, trade, maritime incidents, regional and multilateral issues. This underlines the vital importance of open dialogue for making progress on our shared interests and managing our differences.

Following the meeting, Australia and China signed a range of agreements to foster closer cooperation on trade and economic issues, education, climate change and culture.

Leaders also welcomed renewed cooperation on areas of mutual interest, including competition, food safety, measurement, standards, intellectual property and tourism.

In Perth, leaders attended the Australia-China CEO Roundtable-the first since 2017. This provided a platform for Chinese and Australian business leaders to exchange perspectives, and strengthen trade and investment between our two countries.

Two-way trade with China-our largest trading partner-was a record $327 billion in 2023, accounting for 27 per cent of Australia’s total goods and services trade.

The Government’s steady engagement with China has resulted in the removal of almost all trade impediments on Australian exports to China. The Prime Minister used the visit to advocate for the removal of remaining impediments.

Prime Minister Albanese and Premier Li also attended an event celebrating Chinese-Australian communities, a deeply valued part of the Australian community.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“Premier Li’s visit is another important step in stabilising Australia’s relationship with China.

“My Government has restored high-level dialogue and engagement with China through our patient, calibrated and deliberate approach.

“Dialogue is key to making progress on areas of shared importance, such as trade, education and climate change-and it allows us to pursue the national interest.

“Trade remains the cornerstone of our relationship and my Government’s steady engagement has resulted in the removal of almost all trade impediments on Australian exports to China, but there is still more work to do.

“Our renewed engagement is critical to managing our differences and underpins our approach to this important relationship.

“I will always stand up for Australia’s values and interests by frankly raising our concerns about human rights and consular matters, and by advocating for our respective roles in upholding a region that is open, stable and prosperous.”

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