Official Luncheon For His Excellency Premier Li Qiang

Prime Minister

It is my honour to welcome you, Your Excellency, Mr Li Qiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

And to welcome all the distinguished guests who join us today.

Premier Li, it is an honour to represent the Government and people of Australia as your host.

And it is a pleasure to reciprocate the generosity with which I was welcomed in China last year.

It was my seventh visit to China, but my first as Prime Minister.

And it was an important opportunity to advance the engagement between our nations.

I have long believed that ongoing dialogue is beneficial.

Whatever the issue, it is always better if we deal direct with each other.

And consistent, steady engagement helps build and maintain stability across our region.

A region undergoing change and growth that matters to us both.

What connects our nations today - and will into the future - goes beyond our economic opportunities and the dynamic region we are both part of.

The ties between our people are at the heart of it.

Just as diplomacy and economic co-operation add to our prosperity, our human links add to the connection between our nations.

Our people share an exchange of ideas and culture in many fields of endeavour, including trade, tourism, education and the diaspora.

The Chinese-Australian community is a powerhouse of innovation, creativity and drive.

Thanks to migration that began at the dawn of the 19th century, Australia is now home to 1.4 million people of Chinese ancestry.

These diverse communities are an important part of the story of our modern nation.

So it is important and fitting that you have joined us here in Australia's Parliament House.

A place that represents so much of who we are as a nation.

Near where we are gathered now, a pair of ceremonial stone lions stand sentinel at the entrance to a formal garden.

Carved from Han marble, they were a gift from China to commemorate the opening of Parliament House in Australia's bicentennial year of 1988.

This Parliament, the seat of our democracy, is fundamentally a place of dialogue.

Where we recognise the importance of engaging with each other as we discuss competing views and work to find shared opportunities.

Premier Li, our recent efforts to engage in a dialogue on the issues affecting our people, our countries and our region have been most welcome.

When I saw you and President Xi in Beijing, I spoke about stabilising the relationship.

It is a relationship in which we must always be ready to engage with each other as mature nations.

There is much that remains to be done, but it is clear that our nations are making progress in stabilising and rebuilding that crucial dialogue.

We won't always agree - and the points on which we disagree won't simply disappear if we leave them in silence.

We share an interest in protecting a stable order in our region.

We share a responsibility to build and strengthen the foundation for talking through our differences and for building collaboration in areas where we do find mutual interest.

Creating channels of dialogue and building understanding is how we make it possible for benefits to flow.

Across business, trade and education.

Climate and health.

Culture and the arts.

All represented in this room today.

Premier Li, together, let us continue to work towards a productive relationship in our national interests.

A secure and stable region.

A peaceful and prosperous future for our children.

So allow me to, once again, welcome you to Australia.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.