Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday, the first meeting between the two countries after years of soured relations.
“We are entering this discussion with good will. There are no preconditions to this discussion. I look forward to a constructive dialogue,” Albanian told media as he landed on the holiday island for the G20 summit.
Australian and Chinese leaders had a brief exchange at the 2019 G20 summit in Japan, but have not had a formal meeting in five years.
China remains Australia’s largest trading partner, but relations have dwindled amid disputes over Chinese influence and behavior in the Asia-Pacific region – nearly collapsing after Canberra called for an investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Recently, Beijing’s Pacific ambitions have enraged Canberra, as have China’s arrests of Australians, including journalist Cheng Lei.
But the election of the centre-left Albanian seemed to offer an opportunity to break the deadlock.
Ministerial-level contacts between Australia and China resumed in June after a two-year hiatus.
“Australia will put forward our own point of view. I look forward to having a constructive discussion with Xi tomorrow,” Albanian said.
“Since I became Prime Minister, but also before that, I have said that dialogue is always good. We need to talk to build mutual understanding.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
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