17th Annual Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue
4 December 2014
The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC, and the Secretary of Defence, Mr Dennis Richardson, have visited the Peoples’ Republic of China to conduct the 17th Annual Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue.
The Dialogue, held on 2 December, was hosted by Chief of the General Staff Department of the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA), General Fang Fenghui, at the PLA Headquarters building in Beijing.
ACM Binskin said the Dialogue enhanced the Australia-China defence relationship and emphasised the positive trajectory of defence cooperation and practical engagement with China.
“We discussed the forward program of engagement between the Department of Defence and the Peoples’ Liberation Army in 2015, including strategic dialogue, service engagement, practical cooperation activities, personnel exchanges and training and education opportunities,” ACM Binskin said.
“Our ability to discuss issues in an open and transparent way is a sign of the growing maturity in our defence engagement. We are committed to working with China to ensure a strong, stable and prosperous region.”
Mr Richardson said the Dialogue was an integral component of Australia’s defence engagement with China and provided the opportunity to have frank and open conversations and to exchange views on areas of common interest.
“The Dialogue facilitated constructive discussion on issues of mutual interest, deepened our personal and senior level ties and consolidated and built on our defence engagement achievements,” Mr Richardson said.
“I am encouraged by the frank and positive discussion we had and I am pleased we agreed further avenues to foster cooperation and engagement for the year ahead.”
Prior to the Dialogue ACM Binskin and Mr Richardson met with the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, General Fan Changlong.
ACM Binskin gave a presentation to the PLA National Defence University and Secretary Richardson conducted a roundtable discussion with the China Institute of International Strategic Studies on issues of shared strategic and regional interest.
Following the Dialogue ACM Binskin and Secretary Richardson visited Hainan Island and met with the National Institute for South China Sea Studies and visited an artillery regiment.
ACM Binskin will also visit Guangzhou to meet the military region commander and visit a military unit.
Secretary Richardson will visit Yunnan Province to meet with military and government officials.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999