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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Chinese Premier’s Visit to Australia: Aiming to Amend China-Australia Ties

Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s historic visit to Australia on Saturday signals a new era in Sino-Australian relations, marking the first official trip by a Chinese head of government to the country in over seven years. Greeted warmly upon his arrival in Adelaide, Premier Li conveyed a message of reconciliation from the Chinese embassy, declaring bilateral ties “back on track.”

Premier Li underscored Australia’s unique position as a bridge between Western and Eastern spheres, acknowledging its significant influence in promoting economic globalization and contributing to a multipolar world. This visit lays the groundwork for President Xi Jinping’s anticipated return to Australia since his last visit in 2014.

The rift that once distanced China and Australia emerged during the previous conservative government’s tenure, culminating in trade sanctions on Australian exports by Beijing in 2020.

These sanctions led to substantial financial losses for Australian exporters. However, following Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party victory in 2022, China signaled a readiness to reset relations.

Premier Li’s itinerary includes visits to Adelaide Zoo, a Chinese-operated lithium processing facility in Western Australia, and Parliament House in Canberra.

A key outcome expected from this visit is the removal of trade restrictions on Australian live lobster exports. Despite this positive development, experts predict Australia will approach its economic ties with China with increased caution due to past economic pressures.

Previously, Premier Li visited New Zealand, where he reaffirmed China’s dedication to fostering an optimal business climate and supporting international businesses within its borders. He also discussed potential China-New Zealand collaborations in sustainable development.

Premier Li’s diplomatic tour will continue to Malaysia, where complex bilateral issues, including territorial disputes in the South China Sea, await discussion.

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