Visit to Beijing

Media release

15 May 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr visited Beijing on May 13 to 15, his first visit to China as Australian Foreign Minister.

Senator Carr met Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang and his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

He also had meetings with the Minister of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, Mr Wang Jiarui and Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, Lieutenant General Wei Fenghe.

Discussions focussed on further advancing the Australia-China relationship in the context of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

"Forty years after Gough Whitlam's landmark initiative to establish diplomatic relations, Australia and China now have a comprehensive and resilient bilateral relationship," Senator Carr said.

"We are working constructively with China, bilaterally and through regional institutions, to pursue our shared interests in regional stability and prosperity.

"My meeting today with Vice-Premier Li was an excellent opportunity to discuss ways to advance the Australia-China relationship, which has gone from strength to strength in recent decades.

"We discussed ways to build on that solid foundation to usher-in a new era of enhanced bilateral engagement.

"We also discussed Australia and China's growing economic and trade relationship, valued at over $121 billion in 2011."

Senator Carr said Australia has a positive view of China's increasing role in world affairs.

"We believe that a prosperous China, actively and constructively engaged in regional and global affairs is good for China and good for the world.

"I am confident that the bilateral relationship will continue to flourish, to the benefit of both sides," Senator Carr said.

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