Media statement: Statement on meeting with Chinese Vice Minister

Yesterday I met with Vice Minister Ma Youxiang of China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs at Parliament House.

Our meeting followed official-level discussions between the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs under the Joint Agricultural Commission (JAC), last convened in 2017.

The JAC’s purpose is to guide agricultural cooperation between our two countries.

I welcomed the process of stabilising bilateral relations, in particular progress towards restoring trade in barley, and reaffirmed my commitment to progressing the longstanding tradition of agriculture cooperation between China and Australia.

I noted there are many areas of mutual interest for Australia and China, such as supporting sustainability in agriculture, enhancing food security by reducing food loss and farming innovation, smoothing trade flows, responding to the impacts of climate change on food production, and managing natural resources.

We also discussed bilateral issues, including trade and consular matters.

I reiterated our clear and consistent position that all trade impediments affecting Australian exports should be removed, and that the resumption of normal trade in all products – particularly agricultural goods – is in both Australia’s and China’s interests.

I look forward to meeting my Chinese counterpart in due course, to continue the conversation.