Australia-China collaboration strengthens

(L-R) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Chinese President, Xi Jinping, Administrator of the State Oceanic Administration of China and signatory to the MoU, Liu Cigui, and Australian Antarctic Division Director, Tony Fleming, at an event for the signing of the MoU.
(L-R) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Chinese President, Xi Jinping, Administrator of the State Oceanic Administration of China and signatory to the MoU, Liu Cigui, and Australian Antarctic Division Director, Tony Fleming, at an event for the signing of the MoU. (Photo: Department of Premier and Cabinet)

Australia and China reaffirmed and strengthened a long tradition of collaboration in Antarctic diplomacy, science, logistics and operations during a visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tasmania in November.

A bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recognising and deepening Australia’s and China’s Antarctic relationship was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Xi in Hobart. The signing of the MoU was also witnessed by Australian and Chinese expeditioners in Antarctica, via video link to Davis and Zhongshan stations.

The key elements of the MoU are:

  • A continued commitment to the Antarctic Treaty system, which enables the designation of Antarctica as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science.
  • Establishment of a Joint Committee which will meet every two years, to oversee our cooperation.
  • Establishment of a mechanism for environmental, policy, scientific and operational collaboration, including collaborative Australia-China Antarctic science projects.
  • Establishment of a platform for Antarctic official and academic exchanges.
  • Commitment to utilise Australia, including Tasmania, as an Antarctic ‘gateway’.