Malcolm Turnbull will lead Australia’s biggest-ever trade and business delegation to China next week.
About 1000 business leaders will join the prime minister, three ministers and two state premiers on the two-day visit, which will include talks and banquets with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
The visit comes amid a slowing of the Chinese economy, which is crucial for Australian jobs and growth, and concerns continuing about China’s militarisation of islands in the South China Sea.
Business chiefs will be seeking to build on the China-Australia free trade agreement which came into effect in December, cutting tariffs across many economic sectors.
The Chinese economy is changing from one based on growth in exports to a greater consumer focus.
Australia is seeking to open more doors to trade in food and agriculture, financial services, aged care, education and urban services.
As Chinese visitors to Australia top the one million mark, the prime minister will launch a new Tourism Australia promotion in Shanghai.
He’ll also launch an innovation “landing pad” for start-ups.
Over two days he is expected to have about four hours of talks with the two Chinese leaders.
In global security talks, Mr Turnbull is expected to underline Australia’s position that China’s actions in the South China Sea are raising anxieties and tensions among its neighbours.
Australia believes disputes of the ownership of the various reefs should be settled by international law and the economic growth of the region depends on peace and stability.
Fifteen Australian chief executives will sit down with their Chinese counterparts for a business roundtable, which will report to the prime minister.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tasmanian leader Will Hodgman will also be involved in trade and investment talks.