Thursday, 18 July 2024
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The First Prime Minister of Australia to go to China  

  • Australia‘s Anthony Albanese will visit China for the first time as prime minister in 7 years.
  • His three-day visit will first take him to Shanghai and then Beijing.
  • Australia is optimistic that the crippling wine tariffs will be lifted in a few months.

Australia’s Anthony Albanese will visit China for the first time as prime minister in seven years, marking a significant improvement in bilateral relations after they collapsed to historically low levels due to unresolved trade and security issues.

A chance for change was presented by the election of Albanese’s center-left government last year, which followed nine years of conservative rule. Arriving on Saturday, his three-day visit will first take him to Shanghai and then Beijing, where he will meet with Xi Jinping, his counterpart.

Anthony Albanese

China quit top-level ministerial contacts with the prime minister of Australia in 2016 after Xi met with him twice in six months. Due to the unprecedented entwining of politics and business in the relationship, official and unofficial trade sanctions have accumulated since 2020, costing Australian exporters up to 20 billion Australian dollars ($13 billion) annually for commodities like coal, wine, beef, barley, and lobsters.

However, several people argue that Australia was not caving into Beijing’s pressure and that the trade boycott was harming a financially unstable China. Albanese told reporters last month when he announced the trip that good relations with China were in Australia’s best interest.

To strengthen security relations with the US and advance the AUKUS agreement, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Albanese is currently in China. The visit takes place almost 50 years after Australia’s prime minister made his first trip to China.

Premier Li Qiang and President Xi Jinping are among the people Albanese is scheduled to meet with during the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Improving trade relations is China’s goal following a “largely ineffective de facto boycott.”

Australia is optimistic that the crippling wine tariffs will be lifted in a few months. China saw Australia’s actions in 2018 that were perceived as highlighting China as a security threat as one of its first serious transgressions.

To establish more stable relations with China, the Australian government has not given anything up. Australia is attempting to strike the correct balance between its security interests, the need for regional peace, and its fruitful economic relations with China. China is probably worried about the increasing discussion of “de-risking” in Australia during the negotiations.

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