PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4490


Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/09/1977

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 4490

Embargoed until delivery P77/ 199
I am very pleased to join with the President of the Senate and the
Speaker of the House in welcoming our distinguished guests from
the Peoples Republic of China.
This visit marks an important step in the development of the
history of relations between our two countries.
This is the most senior delegation to visit Australia from the
Peoples Republic of China, and this is the first time we have
been visited by a member of the Politburo. This visit indicates
the degree to which contacts are now developing between the Peoples
Republic of China and the international community. For far too
long a number of forces had arrested these contacts. This makes
it even more important that we work to develop them now, and both
our countries are doing so.
The Peoples Republic of China is now Australia's fourth largest
export market and our countries are exploring ways of expanding
trading relationships further.
Alongside this expanding trade relationship, there is growing
contact across a broad range of interests. In recent months, there
have been reciprocal visits by senior officials and Ministers.
Mr. Hunt, the Minister for Health, visited China in June, and we
have recently welcomed China's Vice Minister for Foreign Trade
to Australia. Chinese journalists have visited Australia and
arrangements have been made for a party of our journalists to
visit China. A delegation from our Academy of Science has visited
China your Academia Sinica has sent a delegation here and the
Academies have established most beneficial contacts with one another.
The Chinese Archeological Exhibition, so generously mounted by the
Peoples Republic of China, has been seen by over 600,000 Australians
and contributed to our understanding of the splendour of Chinese
civilisation and the talent of its craftsmen and artists.
It is important that there be frequent contacts at all levels
between people of different histories and cultures, and the
Australian Government has before it a series of important proposals
aimed at promoting non-official contacts between our two
nations in cultural and other areas.

Australia's former Ambassador to Peking, Dr. Stephen Fitzgerald,
has been heading a task force to advise the Government on this
matter. Frequent contacts at Government level are also vital because
they serve to highlight our common interests and shared assessments
of world affairs. By beingr prepared to speak plainly and
directly with each other, we can work together for peace and
stability in the world and in our region.
The talks I had with Chairman Hua whenI visited China, and the
communications I have had with him since, indicate that we can speak
plainly with one another on issues that concern both our nations.
I was very pleased to receive the assurance Premier Hua gave me
during my visit to China last year, that the Peoples Republic of
China would not allow party to party contacts to interfere with
state to state relations with neighbouring countries in the South
East Asian region.
Against that background, we are conscious, Mr. Vice Chairman, that
your country is taking positive steps to develop relations with
other countries of the region, and that while ideological
differences exist, China does wish for peace and stability in
South East Asia.
Mr. Vice Chairman, I was very pleased to see that the official
Chinese News--Agency,-Hsinhua, a few days ago expressed support
for ASEAN's Kuala Lumpur Declaration, and for ASEAN's plan to
develop economic relations with Japan, Australia, New Zealand
and the EEC. Both our countries have a common interest in the
peace, security and economic development of the region.
Distinguished delegates, we hope that your stay in Australia,
brief that it will be, provides you with the opportunity to
observe our Parliamentary process, and the friendship of the
Australian people and Government towards China.

Transcript 4490