Mutual Respect: the Political Foundation for China-Australia Friendly Cooperation
by Xiao Qian, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Commonwealth of Australia
2022-05-12 08:59

China and Australia are important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and our bilateral relations have important impacts on both our countries and the wider region. To ensure the healthy and stable development of China-Australia relationship, it is of vital importance to properly handle our differences while expanding consensus and strengthening cooperation.

One of my deepest impressions after taking office as the Chinese Ambassador to Australia is that, mutual respect is most needed to correctly view and properly handle the differences between China and Australia. As each country has its own interests, to develop relations between two countries should seek areas of converging interests, build consensus and strengthen cooperation. It is natural that two countries may have different positions and views. Both sides should uphold the principle of mutual respect, view each other in an objective and fair light, respect each other’s history, culture, philosophy, system and development path, and try to expand consensus and narrow differences through communication and exchanges. Any issue that are temporarily difficult to resolve should be properly managed so as to avoid affecting the bigger picture of bilateral relations.

Differences in political systems should not be an obstacle to the development of friendly relations between China and Australia. Our world is home to a variety of civilizations. After strenuous exploration and practice, people of different countries have devised different political systems that suit their own national conditions. Each country’s political system is unique. Western democratic systems are also realized through various ways and means. What the Chinese people have chosen is the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. China’s whole-process people’s democracy focuses on full consultation before and during the decision-making process. It is the most compatible political system for China’s national conditions and has won the support of the Chinese people. Different social systems can live with each other; different development models can learn from each other; and different values and cultures can communicate with each other. China and Australia can absolutely get along with each other harmoniously. There is no need to negate one another because of different political systems, still less divide the world into different camps, create schism and incite confrontation, which in itself is undemocratic.

China’s rise should not be seen as a threat to Australia. The nature of relations between countries is not determined by their respective size or strength, but the policies they adopt towards each other. A big and strong country that pursues a friendly policy can definitely become a friendly and powerful partner. As China grows, it has always been committed to friendly cooperation with countries around the world, including Australia. Having suffered from aggressions in the past, China has always pursued an independent foreign policy of peace. In the more than 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic, China has never waged war; nor has it occupied another country’s territory. China is the only country in the world that has written peaceful development into its constitution. China has proposed the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind. The cooperation between China and the South Pacific island countries is conducive to people’s well-being of both sides and regional prosperity and stability, and will by no means threaten Australia’s security.

It is our belief that the common interests between China and Australia far outweigh our differences, and we have every reason to become partners of mutual benefit. We expect the Australian side to view China and China’s policies in an objective and rational light, act in the interests of Australia and its people, adopt a positive policy toward China, and work with China in the same direction with mutual respect as the political foundation, so as to push China-Australia relations back on the right track at an early date.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of Australia
Address: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Tel: 0061-2-62283999, Fax: 0061-2-62283836
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