The comprehensive and cooperative relations between the People's Republic of China and the Commonwealth of Australia maintained a sound momentum of growth in 2010.
The two sides had frequent high-level interactions. In June, President Hu Jintao had a brief conversation with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan on the sidelines of the Fourth G20 Summit in Toronto. In November, President Hu Jintao briefly conversed with Prime Minister Julia Gillard when attending the Fifth G20 Summit in Seoul. In September, Premier Wen Jiabao had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Julia Gillard. In October, Premier Wen briefly talked with Prime Minister Gillard during the 8th ASEM Summit in Brussels. Later in the month, Premier Wen formally met with Prime Minister Gillard during the East Asian Summit in Hanoi. In June, Vice President Xi Jinping visited Australia, during which he met with Governor-General Quentin Bryce, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, House Speaker Harry Jenkins, and Senate President John Hogg. During the visit, agreements on investment, energy, resources, quarantine and personnel training were signed between the relevant departments and companies of the two countries. In May, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission General Guo Boxiong visited Australia. In June, Governor-General Quentin Bryce came to China for the Australian National Pavilion Day events at the Shanghai World Expo, and met respectively with Vice President Xi Jinping and State Councilor Liu Yandong. In April, House Speaker Jenkins visited China. In November, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan visited China, during which he met with Vice Premier Li Keqiang.
In April, Minister for Foreign Affairs Steven Smith sent a letter to his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, expressing sympathy for the earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai Province.
Other important bilateral visits included the following: In January, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with his Australian counterpart Steven Smith when attending the London Conference on Afghanistan. In March, Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism Martin Ferguson visited China. In May, Minister for Trade Simon Crean visited China and Minister for Foreign Affairs Steven Smith traveled to China for the World Expo and visited Shanghai. In June, Vice Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee Liu Jieyi led a delegation of young CPC politicians to visit Australia. In July, Secretary Dennis Richardson of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade visited Beijing. In August, Head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council Wang Yi visited Australia. From late October to early November, Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd came to China for the closing ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo and visited Beijing. In November, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations Christopher Evans and Minister for Trade Craig Emerson both visited China.
Economic cooperation and trade grew steadily. According to Chinese statistics, Australia was China's seventh largest trading partner, the 14th largest export market and the sixth largest source of imports in 2010, while Australian statistics show that China was Australia's largest trading partner, export market and source of imports. The 15th round of bilateral FTA negotiation was held.
Bilateral dialogue and consultation mechanisms were steadily advanced. The two sides held the first round of Foreign Policy Consultation, the Fifth Consultation on Issues Related to Pacific Island Countries, the 13th Human Rights Dialogue, the Ninth Consular Consultation, the fourth meeting of the High-level Economic Cooperation Dialogue, and the third meeting of Ministerial Internal Coordination Mechanism on Energy and Resources.
The two countries had fruitful mutually-beneficial cooperation in culture, science, technology and education and active people-to-people exchanges. Australia actively participated in the Shanghai World Expo, investing 83 million Australian dollars in venue construction. More than 8 million people visited the Australia Pavilion. In January, the PLA Military Band gave performances during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Sydney and attended the 60th anniversary of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. In June, the "Year of Australian Culture in China" was launched in Beijing, and China and Australia jointly celebrated the 30th anniversary of bilateral science and technology agreement. China has become Australia's third largest partner in science and technology cooperation. There were more than one million mutual visits between the two countries in 2010. China has become Australia's largest source of overseas students and fastest growing market of overseas tourists. In 2010, 545,300 Chinese tourists made Australia the first stop of their overseas trip, up 20.61% year on year. By the end of 2010, China had set up nine Confucius institutes in Australia, and there were 80 sister cities and provinces/states between the two countries.
There were close military exchanges. In September, the frigate Warramunga of the Australian Navy visited Qingdao and Zhanjiang, and held joint rescue exercises with Chinese naval vessels. From September to October, a Chinese naval fleet composed of the training vessel Zhenghe and the frigate Mianyang visited Australia. In December, General Chen Bingde, member of the Central Military Commission and Chief of General Staff of the PLA, held the 13th Defense and Strategic Talk with Air Chief Marshall Allan Grant Houston, Chief of the Australian Defense Force, in Nantong, Jiangsu Province.