Foreign and Strategic Dialogue Opening Remarks - Beijing, China

  • Transcript, E&OE

WANG YI After we established the comprehensive strategic partnership our cooperation has been deepened and expanded.

Despite the poor economic conditions, trade between Australia and China has been expanding. China is Australia's biggest trading partner and the trading volume between our two countries exceeds the sum of the second and third trading partners combined. Although the total Chinese import volume reduced but our imports from Australia are on the rise. This illustrates the complementarity between our two economies is playing a role.

The people to people links are growing and I understand last year there were one million visitors from China to Australia and my colleague told me that one out of five dollars spent by tourists in Australia come from Chinese tourists, and the number of visitors is still growing.

Within three months of ChAFTA coming into force there have already been two tariff reductions which will further promote economic and trade relations between the two nations.

In the current complex international situation we should deepen our dialogue, increase our mutual trust, respect each other's core interests. I believe this visit and this dialogue will play a positive role in promoting our bilateral relations and welcome again.

JULIE BISHOP Thank you Foreign Minister Wang Yi. This is my fourth visit to China as Foreign Minister and I am delighted to have this opportunity, my friend, to co-host the third Foreign Strategic Dialogue with you in Beijing.

Our comprehensive strategic partnership has grown significantly. Our Free Trade Agreement came into force in December. Australia is a reliable trading partner for China and we look forward to our trade diversifying across the established areas of commodities, agriculture, but also into services.

This is significant two-way trade investment.

We are also working together in a range of areas. We continue our joint efforts in the search for MH370, one of the great aviation mysteries of our time.

We are working together in new areas, for example, in development. Australia and China recently launched a malaria control project in Papua New Guinea and I think this is an area for future cooperation and collaboration.

Our joint defence exercises are continuing for we have a common interest in the maintenance of peace and security and stability in our region.

Recently you and I were in London at the Syria humanitarian donors' conference and both Australia and China provided funding to assist in the alleviation of suffering in Syria and neighbouring countries.

So, together we are working closely in a whole range of areas beyond our traditional trade and investment relationship. We believe that China, as a key partner of Australia, will continue to work with us, as we will with you, to strengthen this relationship. I am personally committed to ensuring that our relationship deepens and broadens and I know Prime Minister Turnbull is looking forward to visiting China this year. I am looking forward to a wide-ranging discussion with you today.

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