Australia-PRC trade and investment developments: a timeline
Note: This factsheet is a live document which will be updated as and when notable developments in trade and investment occur. It was last updated on October 6 2021.
Australia’s exports to the PRC: take away iron ore and what’s left?
Iron ore has long been a dominant component of Australia’s exports to the People's Republic of China (PRC). This means that even relatively small changes in the world price of iron ore can have a significant impact on the total value of Australia’s exports to the PRC. This fact sheet removes iron ore from the equation to more clearly see how other components of Australia’s exports to the PRC are evolving.
The emissions impact of Australia-PRC trade
This factsheet undertakes an examination of the emissions impact of Australia’s trade with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Trade has the potential to reduce emissions if domestic products are substituted by imported products that have lower ‘embodied emissions’, that is, greenhouse gases (GHGs) released throughout the product’s supply-chain. 
An update on PRC investment in Australia
Investment from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Australia continues to be a topic of concern for many Australians. Polling data in 2019 showed that 68 percent of respondents thought that the Australian government is ‘allowing too much investment’ from the PRC. This factsheet provides an update on the current state of play of PRC investment in Australia.
The SA-PRC economic relationship
A May 2020 report published by the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney pointed to demand from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) – underpinned by deep economic complementarities and purchasing power – as the chief drivers of growth in Australian exports. This extends to South Australia, with a prominent example of this being rapid growth in PRC consumer demand for South Australian wine.
Australia's agriculture, forestry and fisheries exports to the PRC
A report published in May 2019 by the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney established that Australia’s economic exposure to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is large and growing, even when exports of minerals and fuels are excluded.
Australian perspectives on the Belt and Road Initiative
Around 130 countries have reportedly signed agreements with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in some capacity on engagement with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since its launch by President Xi Jinping in 2013. Thirty-seven world leaders were in attendance at Beijing’s second Belt and Road Forum this year, up from 29 last year.
The Australian government on Xinjiang (October 2019 update)
International outrage continues to grow in the face of Beijing’s mass detention, forced indoctrination and vice-like control of its Turkic Muslim population in Xinjiang, with estimates of over a million (about 40 percent of the Xinjiang population) held in internment camps.
China’s economy: state of the state versus private sector
Successive waves of ‘reform and opening up’ in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) facilitated the growth of a private sector in an economy that had long been dominated by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). However, increasing state control over the economy has added to external pressures facing PRC firms. This factsheet provides an update on developments in the PRC’s private and state sectors.
The Australian government on Xinjiang
Since 2016 the Australian government has become increasingly vocal about human rights as an issue of concern with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Recently this has focused on the mass detention and forced indoctrination of the PRC’s Turkic Muslim population in the northwest province of Xinjiang. Prior to 2016, the PRC’s human rights record was primarily confined to closed-door discussions between Australian and PRC government officials.