As of Saturday, Mr. Albanese is the first Australian leader to visit China since 2016. Following a series of commercial and security spats, the four-day state visit is considered a turning moment in the mending of ties. The main topic of discussion is trade; Mr. Albanese is advocating for the elimination of Chinese tariffs on Australian exports. Mr. Xi was predicted to request increased access to important Australian industries.
After years of hostilities, both leaders promised to keep working in the “mutual interests” of their nations. President Xi welcomed Mr. Albanese to the Great Hall of the People and stated that. China and Australia were on the “correct path of improving and developing relations” and could become “trusting partners.”
Mr. Xi expressed Beijing’s desire to “fully develop the potential of the China-Australia free trade agreement” to Mr. Albanese. Mr. Albanese had told reporters prior to their meeting that “we need to engage in our national interest. Disagree when necessary, and cooperate with China where we can.” There seem to be encouraging indicators. Many of the barriers to trade between our two countries have already been removed, and there has been a noticeable increase in trade between them.”
His visit comes after a diplomatic deadlock that was brought about, among other things. By Australia’s demands for an inquiry into the origins of Covid-19. Beijing’s economic restrictions on important Australian products including beef, wine, and barley. It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of Gough Whitlam’s historic 1973 travel to China to meet with Mao Zedong, which was the first Australian prime minister visit to China following the establishing of diplomatic ties.
In response to a question from reporters about whether Australia can “trust” China, Mr. Albanese stated that his previous interactions with Mr. Xi had been “constructive” and “positive”. However, we also acknowledge that we have distinct political systems, histories, and resulting quite diverse values. However, we take each other at face value. But a litany of issues and worries about security clouds Monday’s negotiations.
Since 2019, Australian writer Yang Hengjun has been detained in China on suspicion of espionage; his health is reportedly fast declining. Mr. Albanese is under pressure at home to obtain Yang Hengjun’s release. Analysts say it may be challenging for Canberra and Washington to find common ground outside of economic interests due to Canberra’s strengthening military connections with Washington and a recent restructure of its defence posture, which is generally perceived as an attempt to contain China.
Experts speculate that Beijing may seek increased access to Australia’s renewable energy and resource industries; nevertheless, the Australian government has taken steps recently to prevent Chinese control of vital minerals and mining projects. Mr. Albanese told reporters, “I leave the meeting satisfied that Australia and China are engaging positively.” He claimed that while the Middle East war and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had been discussed during the meeting, the “14 grievances” China had with Australia during the thaw in their diplomatic relations had not. “I spoke about guardrails and military-to-military co-operation between the United States and China; that’s important,” added Albanese.
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