Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed Thursday he would go to China later this yr as Canberra seeks to stabilise its relationship with Beijing.
The announcement on the sidelines of a Southeast Asia summit in Indonesia got here after years of friction over political and financial points together with Chinese language sanctions on Australian imports.
“I… confirmed the invitation from President Xi (Jinping). That I might settle for an invite and can go to China later this yr at a mutually agreeable time,” Albanese informed reporters after assembly Chinese language Premier Li Qiang for talks.
The journey can be the primary go to to China by an Australian prime minister since 2016.
Albanese thanked Xi for the invitation and stated his talks with Li have been “constructive” and “optimistic”, including the 2 international locations wanted extra dialogue to enhance relations.
“This was an essential assembly. I informed Premier Li that we might proceed to cooperate the place we are able to, disagree the place we should and interact in our nationwide curiosity,” he stated.
Final November, Albanese met with Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
On Thursday, Australia despatched a delegation of trade, authorities, tutorial, media and humanities representatives to Beijing for a dialogue with their Chinese language counterparts.
The dialogue was stopped in 2020, and its resumption is the most recent signal of a thaw.
Australian Overseas Minister Penny Wong stated final week the discussions illustrated “one other step in direction of growing bilateral engagement and stabilising our relationship with China”.
China was angered by Australia’s laws towards abroad affect operations, its ban on Huawei from 5G contracts, and its name for an unbiased investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However relations seem to have warmed for the reason that centre-left authorities in Canberra adopted a much less confrontational method to China following Albanese’s election win final yr.
However points stay within the relationship.
Australia expressed “deep issues” final month concerning the “ongoing delays” within the case of an Australian tutorial jailed in China on espionage expenses.
Chinese language-born Australian Yang Jun has been jailed since 2019 and stated final month in a notice shared with family and friends that he feared dying in jail if he didn’t obtain medical consideration.
Beijing stated it was dealing with his case correctly, and that it was “a rustic dominated by legislation”.