Australia's Albanese and China's Li hold talks to mend ties

World Monday 17/June/2024 10:31 AM
Australia's Albanese and China's Li hold talks to mend ties

Canberra : Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the Annual Leaders' Meeting in Canberra on Monday. Terming his talks with Albanese as "candid, in-depth and fruitful," Li said they also exchanged views on some differences and disagreements between the two countries and agreed to manage them properly.

The visit by Li marks the first visit to Australia by a Chinese premier in seven years and demonstrates a further thawing of the once-frosty ties between the two nations, ABC News reported.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Li Qiang said that the two sides agreed to maintain high-level exchanges and strengthen exchanges between the legislatures, government departments and political parties between the two countries.

Li Qiang said, "Just now, Prime Minister Albanese and I had a candid, in depth and fruitful meeting and reached a lot of consensus. We both agreed to uphold the right characterisation of our bilateral relationship and consolidate its momentum of improvement and development. We reaffirmed our commitment to defining this relationship as a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, to mutual respect and trust and to viewing and handling this relationship in a positive attitude."

"The two sides agreed to maintain high-level interactions, strengthen exchanges between the legislatures, government departments and political parties and fully resume various areas of institutional dialogue and bring their role into full play. We also had a candid exchange of views of some differences and disagreements and agreed to properly manage them in a manner befitting our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership," he said

The Chinese Premier said that Australia and China signed several cooperation documents on trade, education, climate change, culture and intellectual property. Li said China and Australia will make good use of such dialogue mechanisms like Strategy Economic Dialogue, the joint Ministerial Economic Commission and the Free Trade Agreement Committee to address each other's economic and trade concerns and provide a fair, open and non-discriminatory business environment for companies.

Australian PM Albanese termed the talks as "constructive" and stressed that the two nations cannot address differences without talks.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Albanese said, "We had a constructive discussion today at our Annual Leaders' Meeting, building on our Annual Meeting last year in Beijing. My government has put dialogue at the centre of Australia's relationship with China because it is always most effective when we deal directly with each other."

"That's how we make progress on our shared interests and protect regional stability. Without dialogue, we can't address any of the differences that arise between us. Australia and China have renewed and revitalised our engagement. We've agreed across a range of MoUs and arrangements today that will continue to shape and drive our practical cooperation as we continue the process of stabilising the relationship," he added.

Albanese also extended a welcome to the Chinese Premier in Canberra. In a post on X, Albanese stated, "Welcome to Canberra, Premier Li Qiang."

Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Saturday arrived in Australia for an official visit, Xinhua reported. Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong received him at the airport. He arrived in Australia after his official visit to New Zealand as part of his three-nation visit.