21ST ANNUAL AUSTRALIA-CHINA DEFENCE STRATEGIC DIALOGUE

The Secretary of Defence, Mr Greg Moriarty and the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell visited the People’s Republic of China this week to conduct the Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue.

Held in Beijing on 29 October 2018, the dialogue was hosted by Chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), General Li Zuocheng.

This year marked the 21st year of the annual dialogue – a key part of regular bilateral engagement activities – which brings together senior leaders from the Australian Department of Defence and the PLA to discuss a range of regional security issues, including maritime security.

Mr Moriarty said Australia’s bilateral defence relationship with China was underpinned by a common interest in ensuring a strong, stable and prosperous region.

“The Australia-China defence relationship is an important part of our broader bilateral relationship,” Mr Moriarty said.

“Our program of regular engagement activities includes dialogues, joint exercises, educational exchanges and ship visits which helps to develop mutual understanding and strengthen people-to-people links,” Mr Moriarty said.

General Campbell said the Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue provided a useful forum in which frank and open discussion on a number of regional challenges could occur.

“This year’s exchange of views was again productive and included discussions on maintaining regional peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea,” General Campbell said.

“This is vital for both nations and for the broader region.”

Australia will host the 22nd Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue in Canberra next year.

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