Written by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Media Release
At the invitation of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, Vice Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People's Republic of China made an official visit to Australia from 29 October to 1 November 2009. The Vice Premier met Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and held talks with Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on China-Australia relations and other issues of mutual interest and reached important agreement. During the visit, the government departments of the two sides signed cooperation documents on: prevention of illegal logging; protection of cultural relics; and education and training. The visit was constructive and fruitful.
1. The two sides shared the view that cooperation between Australia and China has great potential and prospects.
Under the current global environment, stronger practical cooperation for mutually beneficial outcomes serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples and contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. The two sides will sustain and enhance their dialogue, engagement and cooperation at all levels, including the senior leadership level, to advance the comprehensive relationship which is developing between the two countries. China and Australia will enhance cooperation in various fields, and promote the long-term, sound and steady growth of the comprehensive and cooperative relationship on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
2. The two sides noted their different national conditions could lead to differences of one type or another. The two sides should respect and take into full consideration the core interests and major concerns of each other, properly handle differences and sensitive issues in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, non-interference and equality, and take concrete measures to safeguard the overall interests of the sound and steady growth of China-Australia relations.
The Australian side reiterated its one-China position on the Taiwan issue as contained in the Joint CommuniquÃ© of 21 December 1972 establishing diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and Australia. The Australian side confirmed the position of successive Australian Governments since 1972 that Australia respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including in relation to Tibet and Xinjiang.
3. Recognising that the combined GDP of our two economies is greater than US$5 trillion, the two sides agreed that China and Australia enjoy strong economic complementarity, and it serves the common interests of both sides to advance economic, trade and investment cooperation on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit. Australia is a long-term stable supplier of mineral and energy resources to China. China is a competitive supplier of goods to Australia. The two sides will continue to conduct mutually beneficial trade in accordance with market principles. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to open trade and investment policies, opposition to protectionism in all forms and support for the early conclusion of the WTO Doha Round.
The two sides believe that the conclusion of a comprehensive, high quality, balanced and mutually beneficial bilateral free trade agreement through negotiations serves the long-term interests of both China and Australia. Given that it has been four years since negotiations started, both sides agreed to work together in a positive and a practical spirit to conclude negotiations and reflected their determination to conclude negotiations as rapidly as possible. The Australian side stated in clear terms that it welcomes investment from China, as China welcomes investment from Australia. Australia sees China's increased investment interest as a positive development that will further consolidate the Australia-China economic relationship. China also sees great scope for increased Australian investment in China. Both sides will adopt active measures to facilitate trade and investment cooperation between enterprises of the two countries. Both sides welcomed recent growth in two-way trade and investment.
4. The two sides agreed that China and Australia share important common interests in promoting peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region. The Chinese side welcomes the important role of Australia in regional and international affairs. The two sides will continue to strengthen communication and coordination in the United Nations, G20, APEC, the East Asia Summit, the Pacific Islands Forum and other multilateral mechanisms and institutions, and enhance consultation and cooperation in responding to the financial crisis, addressing climate change, controlling communicable diseases and preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and trans-national crime. The Chinese side welcomes Australia's Asia-Pacific community initiative and will send a senior Chinese delegation to the international one-and-a-half track conference convened by the Australian Prime Minister in Sydney in December for the purpose of exploring the Asia-Pacific community concept for the future. China also welcomes the membership of Australia in ASEM in 2010. Both sides acknowledged the importance of enhanced dialogue and coordination on matters concerning Pacific island countries and the key role of the Pacific Islands Forum.
5. The two sides agreed that mutual understanding and friendship between the people of both countries constitute an important basis for China-Australia relations. The two sides will work together to expand friendly exchanges and cooperation between local governments and promote people-to-people links in such fields as education, culture, sports, tourism and the media. Both sides looked forward to the success of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Both sides endorsed planning for the Year of Australian Culture in China in 2010-11 and the Year of Chinese Culture in Australia in 2011-12.