Western Australia Premier to Visit China for First Time Since Pandemic

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has announced his decision to visit China for the first time in four years.  McGowan said the visit is a “great opportunity” to strengthen partnerships with the Chinese communist leaders, as well as industry leaders across energy, resources, science and innovation, international education, and aviation.  It will be the first visit for the Labor leader since in April, 2019, when he attended the International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas in Shanghai. “My first official overseas mission after taking office in 2017 was to China, and I am looking forward to returning again this month, to highlight our strong trade relationship,” the Labor premier said in a statement.  “Developed over several decades, our economic relationship with China is a mutually fruitful one. It is a relationship that continues to grow.” Read MoreUS Capital Is the Lifeline of the Chinese Communist Party: Roger Robinson Interview China is Western Australia’s largest trading partner, with $143.6 billion of goods traded in 2021‑22.  Minerals is a key component of the trade relationship, with Western Australia exporting 80 percent of its iron ore to China. China is WA’s largest market for battery mineral exports, and with the push for the production and use of battery electric vehicles in China, it is expected that demand for battery minerals will continue to rise.  China is Western Australia’s second largest source for international students, accounting for 11 percent of the state’s total international student enrolments in 2022. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, China was Western Australia’s fifth largest market for international visits, with 66,720 visits in 2018-19. Victorian Premier Visits China After Pandemic The move came after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews came back from his four-day trip in China. Andrews, who was the first Australian leader to travel to China since the beginning of the pandemic, said his China visit “won’t be the last.”  The Labor leader also claimed that his decision not to invite journalists to his China trip was not under his control. “When you travel to China, you don’t get to interview any of the people I would meet with. That’s just how it works,” he told reporters in Melbourne of the communist-ruled state. “I’m not saying it was a good thing or not. I’ve done more press conferences then most. Some of them can be very, very lengthy. I try to answer any questions you have for me. “The notion that if you’d been there, you’d be able to have a long chat or a long chat with the people I met with, that’s never happened.” When asked about the Belt and Road Initiative that he signed with China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—a decision that was later scrapped by the federal Coalition government—Andrews said, “that matter [is] in the past, this trip is about the future.” “I’m sure that infrastructure, both infrastructure needs in China and some of our challenges and needs here, may well be talked about,” he said. “This is the infrastructure capital of our nation, so no doubt they’ll be interested.” Victoria’s trade with China in 2022 was in excess of $40 billion. The state also enrolled about 42,000 Chinese students in Victorian higher education settings. Stability in Indo-Pacific Attempts to invigorate the relationship with China at the state level come as the federal government moves to address the CCP’s growing threats and challenges to the international rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific. The federal Labor government recently announced a new AUKUS submarine deal with the United States and United Kingdom. The submarine pact will see Australia replace its six Collins-class diesel-electric submarines with eight nuclear-powered submarines over the course of the next 30 years. Meanwhile, newly elected New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said he did not intend to follow his state counterparts and visit the communist government.  “Delegations are not a major priority for the NSW government,” he told Sky News on Sunday. “We want to see more international students on the ground in NSW but I believe I can do that on the ground here in this state.” 

Western Australia Premier to Visit China for First Time Since Pandemic

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has announced his decision to visit China for the first time in four years. 

McGowan said the visit is a “great opportunity” to strengthen partnerships with the Chinese communist leaders, as well as industry leaders across energy, resources, science and innovation, international education, and aviation. 

It will be the first visit for the Labor leader since in April, 2019, when he attended the International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas in Shanghai.

“My first official overseas mission after taking office in 2017 was to China, and I am looking forward to returning again this month, to highlight our strong trade relationship,” the Labor premier said in a statement. 

“Developed over several decades, our economic relationship with China is a mutually fruitful one. It is a relationship that continues to grow.”

China is Western Australia’s largest trading partner, with $143.6 billion of goods traded in 2021‑22. 

Minerals is a key component of the trade relationship, with Western Australia exporting 80 percent of its iron ore to China. China is WA’s largest market for battery mineral exports, and with the push for the production and use of battery electric vehicles in China, it is expected that demand for battery minerals will continue to rise. 

China is Western Australia’s second largest source for international students, accounting for 11 percent of the state’s total international student enrolments in 2022.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, China was Western Australia’s fifth largest market for international visits, with 66,720 visits in 2018-19.

Victorian Premier Visits China After Pandemic

The move came after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews came back from his four-day trip in China. Andrews, who was the first Australian leader to travel to China since the beginning of the pandemic, said his China visit “won’t be the last.” 

The Labor leader also claimed that his decision not to invite journalists to his China trip was not under his control.

“When you travel to China, you don’t get to interview any of the people I would meet with. That’s just how it works,” he told reporters in Melbourne of the communist-ruled state.

“I’m not saying it was a good thing or not. I’ve done more press conferences then most. Some of them can be very, very lengthy. I try to answer any questions you have for me.

“The notion that if you’d been there, you’d be able to have a long chat or a long chat with the people I met with, that’s never happened.”

When asked about the Belt and Road Initiative that he signed with China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—a decision that was later scrapped by the federal Coalition government—Andrews said, “that matter [is] in the past, this trip is about the future.”

“I’m sure that infrastructure, both infrastructure needs in China and some of our challenges and needs here, may well be talked about,” he said. “This is the infrastructure capital of our nation, so no doubt they’ll be interested.”

Victoria’s trade with China in 2022 was in excess of $40 billion. The state also enrolled about 42,000 Chinese students in Victorian higher education settings.

Stability in Indo-Pacific

Attempts to invigorate the relationship with China at the state level come as the federal government moves to address the CCP’s growing threats and challenges to the international rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.

The federal Labor government recently announced a new AUKUS submarine deal with the United States and United Kingdom. The submarine pact will see Australia replace its six Collins-class diesel-electric submarines with eight nuclear-powered submarines over the course of the next 30 years.

Meanwhile, newly elected New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said he did not intend to follow his state counterparts and visit the communist government. 

“Delegations are not a major priority for the NSW government,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

“We want to see more international students on the ground in NSW but I believe I can do that on the ground here in this state.”