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China’s Premier Li Qiang Hails Improved Relations With Australia – WE News English

CANBERRA, Australia: China’s relationship with Australia is “on the right track,” Premier Li Qiang declared in Canberra on Monday, signaling a move past a bitter economic dispute that had strained ties between the two trading partners.

Li’s visit marks the highest-ranking Chinese official to set foot in Australia since 2017, underscoring a significant thaw in bilateral relations.

Following a welcome ceremony at Parliament House, Li held high-level discussions with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Reflecting on their meeting, Li noted, “In less than one year Prime Minister Albanese and I have met multiple times and exchanged visits to each other’s country. This shows that our countries attach great importance to our relationship and that this relationship is on the right track of steady improvement and development.”

The relationship between China and Australia had soured significantly starting in 2020, when diplomatic tensions led to China effectively banning a slew of Australia’s most lucrative export commodities. This economic rift dealt a substantial blow to Australian industries dependent on the Chinese market. However, with a new government in Canberra, relations have gradually improved, leading to Beijing retracting most of these trade barriers.

Despite the positive trajectory in trade relations, underlying tensions remain. Australia continues to express concern over China’s efforts to extend its influence in the South Pacific, a region of strategic interest to Canberra. During their talks, Li acknowledged that he and Albanese had a “candid exchange of views on some differences and disagreements,” indicating that while progress has been made, some issues are yet to be fully resolved.

Prime Minister Albanese emphasized the importance of maintaining “candid dialogue” between the nations. This approach reflects Australia’s stance on addressing contentious issues directly while continuing to rebuild and strengthen economic ties.

As the two countries work towards a more stable and cooperative future, the visit of Premier Li Qiang is a significant step in solidifying this renewed partnership. The dialogue between the leaders not only highlights the mutual benefits of improved relations but also sets a foundation for addressing broader regional and global challenges collaboratively.

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