Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met the Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia’s Bali. This was the first face-to-face meeting between an Australian Prime Minister and a Chinese President since 2016.
Amid consistent efforts by successive Australian governments to diversify away from their trade dependence on China, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that he had ‘a positive and constructive discussion’ with the Chinese President.
Albanese reportedly raised objections to Chinese trade sanctions disrupting Australian exports and the continued detention of journalist Cheng Lei and the writer Yang Hengjun.
“We will cooperate where we can, disagree where we must, and engage in our national interest,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia said on Tuesday. The official statement from the Prime Minister of Australia said that the meeting was an ‘important step towards the stabilisation of the Australia-China relationship.
It was good to discuss our relationship with China’s President Xi Jinping today. It was a positive and constructive discussion. We will cooperate where we can, disagree where we must, and engage in our national interest.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP)
“China is a major power with global interests and it was valuable to exchange views on challenges to international peace and security,” it said, followed by addressing the discussions on Russia-Ukraine war.
“I reaffirmed the Australian Government’s view that it is in the interests of both sides to continue on the path of stabilising and developing our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. We are always going to be better off when we talk to each other, calmly and directly,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in an official statement.
Australia and China will mark the 50th anniversary of their bilateral diplomatic relations.
“We also discussed bilateral, trade, consular and human rights issues, and looked forward to the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in December,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.
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Chinese President Xi Jinping also said that Australia-China ties had “run into some difficulties”. However, he added, improving the ties was consistent with the national interest of both countries and conducive to the “peaceful development of the region and the world”.
China’s share of Australia’s exports came down to 29.5 per cent in August this year, down from 42.1 per cent a year ago. Australia’s share of imports from China also came down to 25.9 per cent in August, having peaked at 29.8 per cent a year ago, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics trade.
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