Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's comment on visa issues for Australian government officials to visit China
2018/04/13

Q: The Australian Prime Minister has acknowledged that there is tension in the Australian relationship with China. Is that tension at all related to the delaying of visa applications or the refusal of visas for Australian government officials to visit China for the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference and other activities?Do you agree there is tension in the China-Australia relationship? Is it because of Australia's attempted legislation for foreign interference?

A: First of all I shall make a clarification. As I understand, relevant Australian people did attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference 2018. The BFA is an unofficial international conference organization. Its Secretariat is responsible for relevant activities and inviting the representatives from the political, academic and business community of other countries. You may want to refer to the BFA Secretariat for the information concerning Australia's participation in this BFA annual conference.

You mentioned about the China-Australia relations and Australia's attempt to legislate against foreign interference, and my colleagues and I already stated our position on such issue. China stays committed to developing friendly relations with countries around the globe on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, including mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. Any accusation against China of so-called "interference" or "infiltration" is totally groundless and out of ulterior motive. We hope relevant party will respect objective facts and put China's development in perspective.

A sound and steady China-Australia relations serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples. We hope Australia will work with China on the basis of mutual respect and treating each other as equals to better enhance our mutual trust and cooperation, so as to ensure the China-Australia relations move forward in the right track.

Q: Has the Chinese side been delaying visas for Australian ministers to visit? According to Australian reports, there have been delays for Australian ministers wishing to come for the Australian Week in China expo and the event is in jeopardy because of the delay in visas.

A: Regarding China-Australia relations, I have taken a similar question about it. So I won't repeat it here.

As for what you asked Australian ministers being denied to participate in the Australian Week in China expo, I have noted relevant reports. I can tell you that such claim is nonsense, because what it describes does not exist at all.

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