Tuesday, 29 November, 2022
E-paper

Australian PM raises trade 'blockages' with China's Xi

Australian PM raises trade 'blockages' with China's Xi
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, left, meets Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Albanese met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first face-to-face talk between the nations' leaders in five years. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

Popular News

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.

Bilateral relations plummeted since then over issues including Australia’s ban on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks, calls for an independent inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic and new laws banning covert international interference in Australian politics.

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.