Home > Press and Media
China, Australia Hold First Strategic Dialogue

On February 5, 2008, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith held talks and jointly started the first round of bilateral strategic dialogue between the two countries in Canberra. Both sides exchanged views on developing bilateral cooperative relations, as well as international and regional issues of mutual concern in a candid, in-depth manner, and reached broad consensus.

The two ministers agreed that the establishment of such annual strategic dialogue was in line with the needs of the progressive development of the bilateral ties, was following the current trend of peace, development and cooperation in the world, and marked the new stage of bilateral ties.

Both sides made positive comments on bilateral ties. Yang said recent years have witnessed frequent high-level visits, increasing political trust and positive results scored in exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of areas including economy, trade, energy resources, environmental protection, culture, education, science and technology. The two countries have also kept closer communication and coordination in international and regional affairs. Yang appreciated the Australian government's position of adhering to the one-China policy and opposing Taiwan's "referendum on U.N. membership."

Yang emphasized that China and Australia, both important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, share the heavy task of promoting regional peace, stability and development. In the new situation, the two countries have more common strategic interests and are becoming more inter-dependent. Both sides should conduct cooperation from a strategic and long-term perspective and join hands to build a framework of relations between big nations based on mutual trust and cooperation, in a bid to push for regional cooperation and promote Asia's prosperity and development.

Echoing Yang's comments on bilateral ties, Smith said the development of Sino-Australian relations is gaining momentum in recent years with close high-level exchanges and fruitful cooperation in all areas. The new Australian government attaches great importance to ties with China and is ready to continue to push for new progress of bilateral ties and safeguard peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The two sides reached consensus on developing bilateral relations in the following five aspects. First, strengthen high level exchanges and enhance mutual trust in politics. Second, expand common interests and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation. Both sides should give further play to their complementary advantages in economy, tap potential to the full and deepen cooperation in traditional areas including energy resources. They should also expand cooperation on clean energy, renewable energy, environmental protection, biotechnology and other sustainable development fields and advance the process of FTA negotiations actively and prudently. Third, expand humanistic contacts and increase friendly exchanges in cultural and educational sectors. Fourth, strengthen dialogue and communication, take each other's concerns into consideration, and properly handle sensitive questions. Fifth, strengthen cooperation on regional cooperation, climate change and other multilateral issues to promote regional peace and stability.

The strategic dialogue mechanism between China and Australia was set up by the leaders of both countries in last September when Chinese President Hu Jintao paid an official visit to Australia. The dialogue provides a platform for both countries to strengthen dialogue, communication and coordination over bilateral ties as well as key issues concerning peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

Following the dialogue, the two foreign ministers jointly met the press. On the same day, Yang Jiechi also met with Brendan Nelson, leader of the Liberal Party which is in opposition.

Suggest to a Friend: