Meeting with China’s State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi

  • Media release

Today I met with China’s State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, at the conclusion of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bali.

I welcome our discussion on issues of concern between our two countries - as well as the prosperity, security and stability of the region.

We spoke frankly and listened carefully to each other’s priorities and concerns.

I raised Australia’s concerns about a range of bilateral, regional, trade and consular issues.

Australia and China have gained much through the strength of our economic and people-to-people ties.

We have our differences, but it is in both our countries’ interests for the relationship to be stabilised.

The Australian Government will always seek to resolve issues calmly and consistently under our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and in accordance with our national interests.

Opening remarks

  • Speech, check against delivery

08 July 2022

Thank you State Councilor, and I appreciate the congratulatory message today.

It is important that we meet today after discussions at the G20 Summit in Indonesia.

As we know, the world faces great uncertainty – we have been at the G20 discussing Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, a deepening global food and fuel crisis and supply chain shocks.

In this context, you would be aware that Australia will stand up for international law and the UN charter and we will urge other countries to do so.

I am very pleased to be here as Australia’s Foreign Minister, representing the new Government. I would say to you that Australia’s Government has changed but our national interests and our policy settings have not.

And Australia will speak as necessary on the issues that matter to our nation and our people – we will do so calmly and consistently.

State Councilor, I represent a country that is home to people from over 270 ancestries, and the world’s oldest continuing culture.

Over half of our population was born overseas – including me – or has a parent born overseas. This is who we are.

And we remain committed to a stable, prosperous and peaceful Indo-Pacific.

China is the world’s largest economy, a growing military power, a major player in global food and energy markets. It has a track record of lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty as a consequence of its development.

Our relationship is complex and it is consequential – including for our region.

We should aim for a relationship of mutual benefit and respect. 

Both our countries benefitted greatly from the commitments we have previously made to each other on trade – we both stand to gain from the removal of current blockages. 

The relationship matters to both countries and is built on extensive linkages between our peoples.

We know there are differences between us.

But there are areas where we can and should work together.

China is still Australia’s Comprehensive Strategic Partner.

As you said, Excellency, we will soon reach the milestone of fifty years of diplomatic relations.

You and I have agreed to form a good working relationship. 

And as we approach the anniversary we should work steadily and pragmatically to stabilise the relationship and tackle shared challenges, while addressing our differences directly and candidly.

If China engages with Australia directly and constructively, we will respond in kind.

Minister, I look forward to a constructive exchange this evening.

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