Federal ministers head to China for high level dialogue


Former coalition foreign minister Julie Bishop will join a contingent of senior federal ministers when they head to China this week for high level talks.

The group is attending the 7th Australia-China High Level Dialogue being held in Beijing on September 7, when delegates will discuss trade and investment, people-to-people links and regional and international security.

"This is first time the dialogue has been held since early 2020 and it represents another step towards increasing bilateral engagement and stabilising our relationship with China," Foreign Minister Penny Wong said on Saturday.

The resumption of the talks was one of the outcomes of a meeting the minister held with China's State Councillor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, in Beijing in December.

"It provides an opportunity for representatives from both countries to discuss our perspectives and how we can grow our cooperation in areas of shared interest," Senator Wong said.

The dialogue was set up in 2014 to boost understanding between Australia and China by bringing together senior government representatives with business, academic, and trade interests, as well as media and the arts.

Former Labor trade minister Craig Emerson will co-chair the event, with former liberal foreign minister Ms Bishop attending as a delegate and session lead.

China's former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Honorary President of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, Li Zhaoxing, will co-chair and lead the Chinese delegation. 

Dr Emerson said he was honoured to head up the Australian team.

"Since it was established, the dialogue has been an opportunity to deepen mutual understanding with Chinese participants and to find common ground," he said.

This trip is the latest in a series of high-level government ministers travelling to China to help accelerate the current thaw in relations.