Penny Wong has spoken out on Australia’s delicate relationship with China after touching down for her first visit as Foreign Minister.
Ms Wong arrived in Beijing on Tuesday night to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and China.
She was greeted by Australia’s Ambassador to China, Graham Fletcher, and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the tarmac.
It marks Australia’s first ministerial visit to China in more than three years.
Ms Wong said the countries currently have “a lot of issues” to navigate through.
“It’s very good to be here in China after quite a long time between visits,” she said.
“I look forward to the meetings and discussing many of the issues that are important to us.
“The mark of success is the dialogue itself; we obviously have a lot of issues to work through and dialogue is the prerequisite for working through them.”
Ms Wong also said she intends to discuss Australians currently imprisoned in China and trade arrangements between the two countries.
“I will continue to advocate for Australians detained, as I always do,” she said.
“We believe it’s in the interest of both countries for the trade impediments to be removed.”
The visit comes after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met China President Xi Jinping at the G20 leaders summit in Bali in November.