Today marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and China on 21 December 1972.

There is much to celebrate given the significant achievements of the past 45 years.

Through the commitment of successive governments, the foresight and ingenuity of our business communities, and the hard work and personal contributions of both peoples, we have built a relationship that generates substantial benefits for both sides. 

Our society has been immeasurably enriched by the thousands of Chinese who have made their home in Australia and, in turn, many Australians now live and work in China, making their contribution to our bilateral partnership.   

It is a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership underpinned by regular leader and minister-level engagement, close bilateral, regional and global cooperation across a broad range of areas, annual two-way trade exceeding $155 billion and, now, 1.8 million visitors travelling between our two countries annually.  

It is a resilient partnership that permits forthright exchanges when there are differences.

There are many opportunities to further strengthen our cooperation with China – commercial opportunities underpinned by our world-class bilateral free trade agreement, greater collaboration on high-tech research and innovation, and potential to expand the already thriving academic networks, cultural exchanges and personal connections that link our societies ever-closer together.

I am confident, given the solid foundations already built, and with goodwill and determination on both sides, the Australia-China relationship will continue to go from strength to strength over the next 45 years.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555