Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Joint media release with the Prime Minister

21 December 2007

35th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with China

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and the People's Republic of China(PRC).

In December 1972, one of the first actions of the Whitlam Labor Government was to send a message to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai that the new Australian Government wanted to put relations with China on a proper footing.

Just over two weeks later - on Thursday 21 December in Paris - Australia and China signed the Joint Communiqué that established diplomatic relations.

Over the past 35 years, the relationship between Australia and China has grown remarkably.

Building on the strong complementarity that exists between our two economies, we have seen a tremendous expansion of two-way trade and investment, with China now Australia's second-largest trading partner.

People-to-people links continue to flourish between our countries, and there are opportunities to promote even closer ties in areas such as sport, arts and culture, and science and technology.

China is an important friend and partner for Australia. Our relationship is based on mutual respect and understanding, as well as many shared interests. We have established a comprehensive range of regular and useful dialogues on political, security, economic and trade, consular and human rights issues.

Our countries will continue to work together closely and productively in regional and international forums to advance our common interest in a more stable and prosperous world.

We look forward to building on existing bilateral cooperation and further strengthening relations between our countries in the future.

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