NUSA DUA, Indonesia — Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he raised with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday his concerns about trade “blockages,” but did not walk away from their first face-to-face talks with any promises that the $13 billion barriers to Australian exports would be lifted.
The Australian government described the talks on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia as the first formal bilateral meeting between the two nations’ leaders since 2016, when Xi met then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.
Since the center-left Labor Party came to power in May after nine years of conservative rule, Albanese has been calling for China to lift a series of official and unofficial barriers to Australian exports including beef, wine, seafood, wood and coal that cost $13 billion a year.
Albanese described his 30-minute meeting with Xi as “successful,” “positive,” “warm” and “constructive.”
“I put forward Australia’s position when it comes to the blockages in our trading relationship,” Albanese told reporters on the resort island of Bali.
“It was a positive discussion. We put forward our position. It was not anticipated that a meeting such as that you get immediate declarations. I believe if people thought that would happen, then that was not realistic,” Albanese added.
Xi told Albanese in his opening remarks at the meeting that bilateral relations had “encountered some difficulties” in recent years.