Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Australian Prime Minister: Disputes between Australia and China will not be resolved “with silence”

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(Bloomberg) — Disagreements between Australia and China will not be resolved if they are left to fester “in silence,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said during the second day of a visit by Premier Li Qiang aimed at building on improved relations. .

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Albanese received China’s No. 2 leader in Canberra on Monday in the first visit by a Chinese official with his seniority in more than seven years. This culminates in a rapid improvement in relations between the two countries after several years of deterioration that included accusations of foreign interference and disruption of trade.

“Whatever the issue is, it is always better to deal directly with each other,” Albanese said in the text of his speech. “Consistent and consistent engagement helps build and maintain stability across our region.”

Li began his visit in the southern city of Adelaide on Sunday, announcing the arrival of new pandas at the city’s zoo and touring vineyards – a symbol of improving relations between the two countries – after Beijing lifted heavy tariffs on the Australian wine industry in March.

The Prime Minister said relations between Australia and China were “back on track after a period of volatility”, according to a statement issued after his arrival. “A more mature, stable and fruitful comprehensive strategic partnership will be a shared treasure for the peoples of the two countries.”

Although Lee’s visit has been warm so far, with footage showing him exchanging jokes with Australian ministers and officials, underlying tensions between the two countries remain.

China is concerned about Australia’s tightening of its security ties with the United States, while Albanians are expected to raise recent tense standoffs between the two countries’ militaries and the plight of imprisoned writer Yang Hengjun, who was given a suspended death sentence in a Beijing court earlier this year.

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In a toast welcoming Li to Canberra, Albanese said that although there were still differences between China and Australia, the two countries should be able to deal with each other as “mature countries.”

“We will not always agree – and the points on which we disagree will not simply disappear if we leave them in silence. We share an interest in protecting the stable order in our region.”

Li will travel from Canberra to the mining state of Western Australia, where she is expected to spearhead the Chinese government’s calls for increased access to Australia’s vital minerals sector.

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