29 August 2017

AUS: 20th Annual Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue

Defence welcomed senior officials from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to Canberra today as part of the 20th annual Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue.

The Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue is a key part of regular bilateral engagement activities which bring together senior leaders from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the PLA to discuss a range of regional security issues, including maritime security.

The Dialogue has been an annual activity between Australia and China since 1997.

Vice Chief of the Defence Force, VADM Ray Griggs, and Deputy Secretary Strategic Policy and Intelligence, Ms Rebecca Skinner, co-chaired this year’s discussions with the Chinese delegation, which was led by Major General Shao Yuanming, Joint Staff Department under the Central Military Commission.

“The Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue provides a useful forum in which frank and open discussion on a number of regional challenges can occur,” VADM Griggs said.

“This year’s exchange of views was quite productive and we agreed maintaining regional peace and stability, including on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea, is vital for both nations and for the broader region.”

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

“Our relationship will continue to grow in 2018 through a program of regular engagement activities, including strategic dialogue, joint exercises, educational exchanges and ship visits,” Ms Skinner said.

The 21st Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue will take place in China next year.