Monday, July 22, 2024

Chinese Premier Li in Australia, touts trade

Chinese Premier Li Qiang visits Australia to improve trade relations, following Beijing’s sanctions. Despite political tensions, the focus is on economic opportunities, with hopes for improved exports and diplomatic relations.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang is celebrating the resurgence in trade relations with Australia as he visits a major winegrowing region that was impacted by Beijing’s sanctions. The highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Australia in seven years, Li’s four-day trip holds the promise of lucrative trade opportunities following the lifting of punitive measures against key Australian exports by China, which is Australia’s largest trading partner, accounting for nearly 30% of its exports last year, with two-way trade reaching $216 billion in 2023.

During his visit, Li emphasized the importance of mutual respect, seeking common ground, and fostering mutually beneficial cooperation to enhance China-Australia relations, which had experienced a tumultuous period marked by twists and turns. The premier is set to meet with winemakers in the well-known Barossa region near Adelaide, where Chinese sanctions had affected Australian exports of wine, coal, timber, barley, beef, and lobsters in 2020, resulting in significant financial losses for Australian exporters.

Despite the gradual lifting of sanctions since 2022 under the administration of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, challenges remain as Li and Albanese plan to discuss sensitive issues such as foreign influence, human rights, regional competition, and alleged military activities by China in the Pacific. While Li’s visit aims to focus on economic opportunities, the diplomatic gesture also aims to restore friendly relations between the two countries after a period of strained ties, impacted by trade measures that had major economic implications for Australian industries like wine and rock lobster.

Source : Chinese Premier Li in Australia, touts trade

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