The Coalition welcomes the visit Australia’s Foreign Minister will make to the People’s Republic of China.

Engagement between governments is essential to advance areas of mutual interest and to manage differences. It was always counterproductive for the Chinese Government to cease ministerial dialogue for a period of time and the resumption of face-to-face dialogue has been welcome.

This visit appropriately coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and China, which I was pleased to join Minister Wong and Ambassador Xiao Qian in officially marking at the recent event hosted by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations.

The growth in our ties has been mutually beneficial in many ways, particularly the economic dividends to both nations underpinned by the establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2014 and the entry into force of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2015.

We both have much to gain from supporting a stable, prosperous and open Indo-Pacific, in which the sovereignty of nations is respected and the international rules-based order upheld.

It is welcome that the Albanese Government has continued the former Coalition government’s recognition of the strategic challenges Australia faces and important that they pursue the stabilisation of Australia-China relations while remaining committed to protecting Australia’s national interests.

The ultimate test of any dialogue lies in the outcomes achieved. Minister Wong’s visit will be judged on progress towards the removal of unwarranted tariffs and sanctions on Australian exports; achieving fair and transparent treatment of Australians currently detained in China; advancing regional security via respect for international law; and securing greater transparency on human rights issues of concern. Australia should also continue to appeal for China to use its influence on Russia to end the immoral and illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Minister Wong’s visit to China will be the first by an Australian minister since my final visit as trade, tourism and investment minister under the previous Coalition Government in November 2019.

I wish Minister Wong well in her pursuit with the Chinese Government of productive discussions and outcomes positive to our national interest.