Friday February 21, 2020


April 26, 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard concluded on Wednesday a two-day visit to Beijing, her first official trip to China since taking office in June 2010. Meetings with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and Vice Premier Li Keqiang stressed the importance of strengthening China-Australia bilateral relations, particularly economic relations. Today, China is Australia’s largest trading partner, purchasing over one-quarter of Australia’s exports. Vice Premier Li encouraged both countries to shift away from their current buyer-seller relationship, and move towards a more balanced relationship centered on “long-term stable and strategic cooperation in energy and resources.” Currently, energy and resources comprise the core of China-Australia economic relations, with iron ore along accounting for nearly half of Australian exports to China in 2009-2010 according to Chinese sources.

While economics dominated the bilateral talks, China’s recent wave of human rights activists arrests did come to light in the dialogue. According to CNN, Gillard insisted that she discussed human rights issues with Premier Wen, conveying her concerns about human rights, treatment of ethnic minorities, and religious freedom.

For more coverage on PM Gillard’s visit to China, please visit the following news sources and commentary:

CNN World – “China, Australia seek broader economic ties

Xinhua News – “China, Australia agree to further ties

China Daily – “Sino-Australian co-op to go beyond the buyer-seller one

Wall Street Journal – “How Australia sells itself to China

China Real Time – “Does Australia need Chinese workers?