Wong to visit China

Foreign Minister Penny Wong will travel to Beijing to mark the 50th anniversary of Australia-China diplomatic relations.

Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas.

Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas.

South Australian Senator Wong has been invited by the Chinese government to meet with her counterpart Wang Yi and hold the sixth Australia-China Foreign and Strategic Dialogue which was last held in 2018.

It signals a step forward in diplomatic relations and follows a meeting between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in November.

Trade is expected to be high on the agenda, as Australia continues its push for China to remove billions of dollars in sanctions which have been in place since 2020.

In a joint statement, Albanese and Wong recognised former Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam’s “bold” decision in 1972 to recognise the importance of engagement and cooperation between Australia and China.

“In the decades since, China has grown to become one of the world’s largest economies and Australia’s largest trading partner,” the statement said.

“Australia seeks a stable relationship with China; we will cooperate where we can, disagree where we must and engage in the national interest.”

Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham has welcomed news of the ministerial talks.

“This opportunity … provides a chance to try to seek and achieve progress against some of the difficult things in the relationship, such as China’s unfair and unjustified trade sanctions against Australia,” he said.

“It’s appropriate that Australia and China mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.”

InDaily in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Birmingham said the talks would also be an opportunity to bring up the issue of detained Australians in China, such as journalist Cheng Lei.

He said the news of the bilateral talks was a sign the relationship between the two countries was heading in the right direction.

“We don’t expect everything is solved instantly, but there is a reality to the fact that the government has benefited from China’s decision to cease their counterproductive ban on ministerial level dialogue.

“As we’re seeing this settle into more of a pattern of discussion and dialogue, the test will be whether we see progress in the removal of those unfair trade sanctions.”


Local News Matters
Copyright © 2024 InDaily.
All rights reserved.