China-Australia Trade Ministers Hold 1st Meeting Since 2019

Oceania | Economy | Oceania

Australia’s new government is urging China to lift official and unofficial barriers to Australian exports.

Australian and Chinese trade ministers held their first bilateral meeting in three years on Monday, as Australia urged China to lift official and unofficial barriers that cost exporters A$20 billion (US$14 billion) to the anus.

China has unfrozen its diplomatic freeze on Australia since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s centre-left Labor Party was elected in May for the first time in nine years.

Albanese has urged China to show goodwill to his administration by lifting trade restrictions on Australian exports, including wine, coal, beef, shellfish, barley and timber.

Trade Minister Don Farrell said that behind closed doors, he and his Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao agreed to enhance dialogue at all levels as a path “to the timely and full resumption of trade.”

“Our discussion covered a variety of trade and investment topics, including the need to resume trade without hindrance for Australian exporters so that Chinese consumers can continue to benefit from high-quality Australian products,” Farrell said in a statement after the meeting by teleconference of the Parliament of Australia. Home.

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During the introductory stage of the meeting that was open to the media, Wang invited Farrell to meet in China.

“I am looking forward to having open and candid exchanges of views with you,” Wang told Farrell. “I am also very happy to extend an invitation to visit China at a convenient time for you. And I think your next trip to China will leave a different impression on you.”

Farrell accepted the invitation but did not name a date.

“The results of our discussions have the potential to be of great benefit to our countries and to our consumers,” Farrell said.

Wang said the priority of the meeting should be to build mutual trust.

“I want to stress that we will deal with the problems, but at the same time this meeting cannot solve all these problems,” Wang said.

Although Wang noted that while common ground should be sought, some issues “cannot be resolved.”

“China will not make concessions on issues of principle,” Wang said.

The trade barriers are widely seen as punishment by the former Australian government, which passed laws banning covert foreign interference in domestic politics, for banning Chinese-owned telecoms giant Huawei from rolling out Australia’s 5G network due to security concerns and for calling for an independent investigation into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albanese raised concerns about trade “blockades” in November when he participated in the first formal bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping by an Australian government leader since 2016. Foreign Minister Penny Wong became in December the first Australian foreign minister to visit China in four years.

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The first shipments of Australian coal to China since Beijing imposed an unofficial ban on the raw material two and a half years ago were due to arrive in the country this week in the first clear sign that the Xi regime will reverse some sanctions on Australian exports. The Australian Informed Financial Review.

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