Australia has become the first western country to sign a formal agreement which will see the prime ministers of both governments meeting annually. There will also be further meetings at sub-leadership level. Previously an Australian Government ambition, the partnership with China is believed to have been hastened by the change in China’s leadership last year.
The signing ceremony, which took place in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square, also formalised laws to start the direct trading of Australian dollars and Chinese Yuan, as previously the US Dollar was used as an intermediate in the transfers.
Cooperation and coordination of development aid by both nations into the Asia–Pacific region was also agreed upon during the signing ceremony.
Two-way trade betweenAustraliaandChinahas topped $130 billion a year and there is hope that free trade talks withChinawill be opened again at the next meeting in May.
I have been very critical of our Prime Minister during her second term in power, but the partnership between Australia and the world’s superpower China will provide greater stability for our nation.
With the largest population in the world, making up one in five people on Earth, China’s consumption and trade production power is unmatched. The key to the growth ofChinahas been the work of the financial leaders of the country who continue to manipulate the price of the Yuan to keep the exchange rate low so that they remain competitive. As we saw inAustralia, when the Australian dollar increased from around $0.85 to $1.00 with the American dollar, many industries, especially tourism, suffered from lower turnover.Chinais one of the largest buyers of Australian natural resources and the potential of a free trade agreement is tantalising.
The discussion around increasing military ties withChinais an interesting concept. It seems as though the agreement signed between the Australian PM and Chinese Premier for greater collaboration in delivering aid throughout the Asia Pacific region is the first (very small) step to tying Australia’s military closer to China’s.
I applaud Prime Minister Gillard and her ministry for signing such an important agreement for our nation’s.
Is this too little too late for a Federal Labor Party significantly behind in the polls, just six months out from the next election?