Australian Consulate-General

Australia China Bilateral Relations

After establishing diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China in 1972, Australia established an embassy in Beijing in 1973.

The Australia-China bilateral relationship is based on strong economic and trade complementarities, a comprehensive program of high-level visits and wide-ranging cooperation. In 2014, the Australian Prime Minister and Chinese President agreed to describe the relationship as a "comprehensive strategic partnership".

Our bilateral political engagement is extensive, though both sides acknowledge that Australia and China have different histories, societies and political systems, as well as differences of view on some important issues. Both Australia and China are committed to constructively managing differences if and when they arise. Australia adheres to its one-China policy, which means it does not recognize Taiwan as a country. We maintain unofficial contacts with Taiwan promoting economic, trade and cultural interests.

Australia's growing diplomatic network in China includes the embassy in Beijing and consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Hong Kong. There are also 11 Austrade offices across greater China, assisting Australian businesses to enter markets and promote Australia as an investment, tourism and education destination. Australian state governments are represented in China's leading commercial centres. Australia and China share around 100 sister-state/province and sister-city relationships.

The breadth of the bilateral relationship is also demonstrated by the range of consultation mechanisms that Australia and China have established to advance cooperation and manage differences. The apex of this structure is the annual leaders' meeting between our Prime Minister and the Chinese Premier. Other dialogues cover bilateral, regional and global issues, including foreign and strategic relations, trade and economic cooperation, international security, human rights, law enforcement, development cooperation, climate change and consular matters.

More information on our bilateral relations