Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop gave a joint interview to Chinese media at her office in the Parliament on 4 December. Minister Bishop briefed on her upcoming visit to China and the Australian Government’s China policy. She stressed that Australia-China relations are crucial to Australia’s development and prosperity. The Australian Government highly values the Strategic Partnership with China and stays committed to a healthy and stable development of bilateral relations. The Australian side takes no sides on disputes of territorial sovereignty between China and other countries concerned.
Minister Bishop said that Australia-China relations are one of the most important external relationships for Australia. The two countries had established the Strategic Partnership and annual bilateral dialogues. Her visit to China is to hold the Foreign and Strategic Dialogue with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. She expects to have broad discussions with Minister Wang on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest.
The Australian new government attaches great importance to its relations with China. Prime Minister Tony Abbott will pay a visit to China early next year. Minister Bishop hopes to work out the details of the visit with the Chinese side in their dialogue. In addition, Australia and China can play a positive role in international and regional affairs. Australia and China will host the G20 Summit and APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting next year respectively. We can strengthen our cooperation and coordination in this area.
Minister Bishop said that as China’s strategic and cooperative partner, the Australian side hopes to work with China to broaden our common interest and properly deal with differences. Australia takes no side on disputes of territorial sovereignty between China and other countries concerned. We hope that parties concerned work together for regional peace and stability. This is the Australian Government’s long-standing policy.
Minister Bishop said that Australia-China practical cooperation has been deepening across the board. China is Australia’s largest trading partner. Our two-way trade exceeded AUD 120 billion. China is also Australia’s largest source of international students and second largest source of tourists. Australia-China relations are crucial to Australia’s development and prosperity. The Australian Government highly values Australia-China strategic partnership and works for sustained and healthy development of the relationship. The Australian side hopes to finalize the FTA negotiations with China within 12 months.