Australia-Mainland China relations improving with increased trade ties, but limited potential for further warming due to negative Australian perceptions of China and security concerns. Australia diversifying trade to reduce tensions.

Key View 

  • Australia-Mainland China relations have improved as both nations rekindle their trade ties.
  • However, there is limited scope for ties to warm further – Australians largely view China negatively and security concerns remain a key issue for both sides.  
  • We expect Canberra to continue diversifying its trade ties away from China, which will erode a key bulwark against escalating tensions.

Australia-Mainland China ties have been improving steadily over the past year. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to Beijing on November 6 was the first by an Australian leader in over seven years. That followed China lifting several trade restrictions against Australia throughout 2023 (see table below). Trade minister Don Farrell estimates that the value of exports affected by additional Mainland Chinese tariffs has shrunk by AUD18bn (0.7% of GDP) as a result.

Source : Australia-Mainland China Relations Warm Up, But Risks Remain

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