- President Xi: China and Australia should build a strategic partnership
- Xi: “Both sides should build mutual trust”
- Albanians: Strong relationships ‘will be beneficial for the future’
- Albanians: not only recognize differences but also “mutual benefits”
BEIJING, Nov 6 (Reuters) – President Xi Jinping said on Monday that stable relations between China and Australia are in mutual interest and the two countries should expand cooperation, adding that Beijing He clearly signaled that he was ready to move forward.
President Xi told Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, the first Australian leader to visit Beijing since 2016, that China and Australia should promote the development of their strategic partnership while building mutual understanding and trust. He said this at the Great Hall of the People in the city center. Chinese capital.
In their second face-to-face meeting in a year, which lasted more than an hour, Mr. Albanese told Mr. Xi that a strong relationship “will be beneficial for the future.”
For decades, China and Australia have built a trading relationship, with Beijing becoming Canberra’s largest commercial partner, buying Australia’s food and natural resources.
However, relations soured after Australia accused China of political interference in 2017. The following year, Australia banned the use of 5G network equipment from Chinese technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. (HWT.UL), citing national security concerns.
Australia’s call in 2020 for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, infuriated the Chinese government, which has ordered the importation of various Australian imports. I responded with a block.
As relations sour, China has warned students not to study in Australia, citing racist incidents that threaten its multibillion-dollar education market.
Earlier on Monday, Albanians stopped at Beijing’s iconic Temple of Heaven and took photos at the circular echo wall where then-Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam stood in 1973, a year after the two countries established diplomatic relations.
“In China, we often say that when we drink water, we should not forget the people who dug the well,” Xi said. “The Chinese people will never forget Prime Minister Whitlam, who dug the well for us.”
Albanese became prime minister in May last year and took steps to stabilize relations after meeting with Xi at the G20 summit in Indonesia in November.
China immediately began lowering trade barriers, allowing coal imports in January and eliminating tariffs on barley in August. Last month, the Chinese government agreed to review a 218% dumping duty on Australian wine.
Mr Albanese told reporters after the meeting that “very unimpeded trade is in the interests of both countries and is good for Australian exporters as well as Chinese consumers”. . “He certainly agreed that Australian wine was delicious.”
According to Chinese customs data, China’s imports from Australia in the January-September period rose 8.1% from a year earlier to $116.9 billion. Imports in 2022 decreased by 12.7% to $142.1 billion.
Mr Albanese said the meeting was “very positive”, adding that he had invited Xi to visit Australia.
“We both certainly agreed that we shouldn’t be defined by our differences, that we should recognize that they exist, and at the same time recognize the mutual interests that we have. ”
Obstacles remain in their relationship.
Australia upholds UN ruling rejecting China’s territorial claims South China Sea Beijing was furious, and Beijing told Canberra that the issue was not a Chinese concern.
Australia claims the South China Sea is an important route for trade with Japan and South Korea.
The Chinese government’s assertiveness among Pacific island nations also alarmed Australia, but the Canberra government security alliance The US-UK relationship in the Indo-Pacific, known as AUKUS, has fueled Chinese concerns about containment.
“AUKUS was not talked about explicitly, but we did talk about regional stability,” Albanese said, without elaborating. “I talked about guardrails and military-to-military cooperation between the United States and China. That’s important.”
Mr. Albanese also brought up the case of Australian writer Yang Hengjun, who has been imprisoned in Beijing for four years on suspicion of espionage.
Report by Ryan Woo. Additional reporting by Kirsty Needham in Sydney.Editing: Robert Barthel and Mark Heinrich
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