Australian PM Albanese to meet Xi Jinping in China visit
The Australian PM Anthony Albanese and the Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet in Beijing soon for a drought-breaking bilateral meeting.
It is the first time since 2016 that an Australian leader has visited China, Mr Albanese landed in Shanghai on Saturday.
As a result of a series of trade and security disagreements, the visit is seen as a turning point in the thawing of relations.
There will be a strong focus on trade, with Mr Albanese calling for the removal of Chinese tariffs on Australian products.
A number of Australian sectors are expected to be requested by Mr. Xi.
Prior to the meeting, Albanese told reporters in Beijing: “We need to cooperate with China where we can, disagree where we need to, and engage in our national interests.”
Australian calls for an investigation into Covid-19’s origins, and economic sanctions enacted by Beijing on key Australian exports such as beef, wine, and barley led to a diplomatic deep freeze.
As well as marking the 50th anniversary of Gough Whitlam’s first trip to China after diplomatic relations were established in 1973, this also marks the 50th anniversary of the first Australian prime minister to visit Mao Zedong.
Despite this, there are several sticking points and security concerns that will hang over Monday’s discussions.
Yang Hengjun, an Australian writer imprisoned in China on espionage charges since 2019, whose health is rapidly deteriorating, faces pressure at home to be released.
According to analysts, Canberra’s growing military ties with Washington as well as a recent overhaul of its defence posture could make it difficult for the two sides to find common ground beyond economics.