عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

China and Australia

In 2013, relations between the People's Republic of China and the Commonwealth of Australia generally maintained a sound momentum of growth. The two countries established a strategic partnership and an annual leaders' meeting mechanism, raising their bilateral relationship to a new level. The relationship enjoyed smooth transition after the Australian federal election in September.

The two countries had frequent high-level exchanges. President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the sidelines of the 21th APEC Economic Leader's Meeting in Bali, Indonesia in October and had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in July. Premier Li Keqiang met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott during the East Asian leaders meetings in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei in October and had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Julia Gillard in March. In April, Prime Minister Julia Gillard paid an official visit to China and attended the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference. During the visit, Prime Minister Gillard had meetings with President Xi and Premier Li and met with participants of the Third China-Australia CEO Roundtable Meeting together with Vice Premier Wang Yang. In October, Governor General Quentin Bryce paid a state visit to China and attended the 14th Western China International Fair and met with President Xi, Premier Li and Vice Premier Liu Yandong. During the 14th Western China International Fair, Vice Premier Wang Yang had a brief conversation with Governor General Bryce. In April, State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with Foreign Minister Bob Carr who was accompanying Prime Minister Gillard to China.

In March, Prime Minister Gillard sent congratulatory letters to President Xi and Premier Li on the assumption of their posts. In May, Prime Minister Gillard sent a letter of sympathy to Premier Li for the magnitude-7.0 earthquake in Lushan, Sichuan Province. In July, Premier Li sent congratulatory messages to Prime Minister Rudd for his reelection. In September, Premier Li and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli sent congratulatory messages to Prime Minister Abbott and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss for assuming their posts. In October, Premier Li sent a message of sympathy to Prime Minister Abbott for the severe New South Wales bushfires. In November, NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang sent a congratulatory message to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop for assuming her post.

The two countries also conducted the following important bilateral exchanges: In April, Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu attended the 11th meeting of China-Australia Joint Agricultural Commission. In May, Tony Burke, Minister for the Arts and for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, visited China. In June, Xiu Fujin, Vice Chairperson of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee went to Australia for the fifth meeting of the regular exchange mechanism between the parliaments of China and Australia. In July, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carr and Minister for Trade Richard Marles visited China. In October, Secretary of Qinghai Provincial Committee of the CPC Luo Huining visited Australia. Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb visited China in both October and November. In October, Honorary President of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA) Li Zhaoxing co-chaired the second meeting of China-Australia Forum in Australia. In December, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop paid an official visit to China.

New achievements were made in business and investment cooperation. In 2013, two-way trade stood at US$136.4 billion, up by 11.5% year on year. China remained Australia's largest trading partner, export market and source of import. In April, the central banks of the two countries decided to launch direct trading between the Australian dollar and the renminbi. In June, the two countries held the 19th round of negotiations towards a bilateral free trade agreement in Beijing. In December, the Australian government removed the cap placed on Yanzhou Coal Mining Company restricting its equity ownership of Yancoal Australia Limited, and approved with certain conditions the State Grid Corporation of China's acquisition of SPI (Australia) Assets Pty Ltd (SPIAA), an Australian energy infrastructure company wholly owned by Singapore Power International Pte Ltd (SPI).

Practical cooperation in other areas made fruitful achievements. During Prime Minister Gillard's visit to China in April, the two countries signed a series of cooperation documents including the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Australia on Cooperation for Precursor Chemical Control and Memorandum of Understanding for Development Cooperation Partnership Between the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the Australian Agency for International Development of the Government of Australia. In October, at the request of the Australian side, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application provided satellite data to Australia to assist in its fight against bushfires in New South Wales. By the end of 2013, 13 Confucius Institutes had been opened in Australia, and 90 pairs of sister provinces and cities had been forged between the two countries. Local leaders from New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and other states visited China respectively.

The two militaries enjoyed a good momentum of exchanges. A number of senior Australian Military officials visited China, including Secretary of the Department of Defence, Chief of Joint Operations and Chief of Navy. In August, China, Australia, New Zealand and the United States conducted humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise "Phoenix Spirit 2013". In September, China-Australia Military Culture and Friendship Week was held in Australia. In October, a Chinese naval vessel participated in the International Fleet Review held in Australia and the maritime security actual-troop exercise together with Australian Navy.

After China established the Air Defence Identification Zone in the East China Sea, Australia issued a statement in the name of Foreign Minister to express concerns, causing negative impact on China-Australia relations. China made solemn representations to the Australian side following the statement.

China and Australia Established Strategic Partnership and Annual Leaders' Meeting Mechanism

In April, during Prime Minister Gillard's visit to China, China and Australia announced the establishment of China-Australia strategic partnership of mutual trust and mutual benefit, the annual leaders' meeting mechanism, the foreign and strategic dialogue mechanism and the strategic economic dialogue mechanism. These are milestones in China-Australia relations. On 9 April, Premier Li and Prime Minister Gillard held the inaugural round of annual leaders' meeting. On 6 December, Foreign Ministers Julie Bishop and Wang Yi held the first round of China-Australia foreign and strategic dialogue in China.

Suggest to a friend
Print