Meeting With China’s State Councilor And Minister Of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi 23 September

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Today I met China’s State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, in the margins of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The meeting reaffirmed the Australian Government’s view that it is in the interests of both sides to continue on the path of stabilising the relationship.

We had a constructive conversation, where I expressed Australia’s views on a range of bilateral, trade, consular and human rights issues, as well as international and regional security.

Australia will seek to cooperate in areas of mutual benefit. We remain open to dialogue and engagement with China, including to address shared challenges.

Australia continues to work towards productive and stable relations with China, based on mutual benefit and respect.

Opening remarks

Thank you, State Councilor. I welcome the opportunity to meet again.

Our meeting this time, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, grounds our discussion in the context of the international rules-based system to which both our countries have committed under the UN Charter.

When respected, these rules are how we continue to build a world that is in all our interests – one that is stable, prosperous and where sovereignty is respected.

We face dire threats to our progress, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a global food and fuel crisis, supply chain shocks, and climate change.

So, I look forward to a frank exchange of views on a range of issues.

Australia seeks to work towards productive and stable relations with China, based on mutual benefit and respect.

It is in the interests of Australia, China and our region for the relationship to continue to be stabilised.

Our aim should be for both sides to engage and cooperate in areas where it benefits us to do so, while addressing differences directly and candidly under our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

We committed to engaging calmly and consistently on matters relating to our bilateral relationship, and we have done so.

Australia’s national interests remain constant.

I’d like to speak frankly about how we might enable cooperation.

There are mutual business opportunities in the clean energy transition and other areas, but our trade relationship has been subject to blockages.

Trade has been the platform from which the PRC has made historic achievements in poverty alleviation.

Indeed, open, rules-based trade within the international system has underpinned economic development for both our countries.

We both have much to lose by the disintegration of that system.

And we both have much to gain from direct and productive engagement.

We will soon reach the milestone of fifty years of diplomatic relations.

As much as that is an opportunity to reflect, it is also an opportunity to look to the future.

State Councilor, I look forward to another constructive exchange this evening.

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