China’s foreign minister begins Australia trip with trade, security in spotlight

China’s foreign minister begins Australia trip with trade, security in spotlight
China’s foreign minister begins Australia trip with trade, security in spotlight

Hello and welcome to the details of China’s foreign minister begins Australia trip with trade, security in spotlight and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in capital Canberra for high-level talks with counterpart Penny Wong, returning to Australia for the first time since 2017. — AFP pic

CANBERRA, March 20 — China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi began a whirlwind visit to Australia today, his rare trip marking a thaw in relations between the two trading partners.

Wang touched down in the capital Canberra for high-level talks with counterpart Penny Wong, returning to Australia for the first time since 2017.

“Every time we meet, our mutual trust is built upon further and China-Australian relations advance,” said Wang in his brief opening remarks.

While trade was high on the agenda, Wong said she would “frankly” raise sensitive issues such as “Australians detained in China, maritime security and safety” and “human rights”.

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“Together, you and I have made progress in stabilising the relationship between our countries in the interests of our nations, our people and the peace and security in our region,” she said.

China and Australia have been working to patch up their trading relationship after years of bickering and tit-for-tat reprisals.

But tensions remain when it comes to security, as Australia draws closer to the United States in an effort to blunt China’s reach in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Wong is expected to raise the plight of jailed dissident Chinese-Australian writer Yang Jun.

Yang was recently found guilty of espionage in a Beijing court — charges he stridently denies — and handed a suspended death sentence.

Australia’s relationship with China began unravelling in 2018, when it excluded telecommunications giant Huawei from its 5G network on security grounds.

Then in 2020, Australia called for an international investigation into the origins of Covid-19 — an action China saw as politically motivated.

In response, Beijing slapped trade restrictions on a slew of Australian exports, including barley, beef and wine, while halting its coal imports.

Most of those barriers have been gradually wound back as relations have been repaired, although restrictions remain on Australian wine exports. — AFP

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