Albanians in Australia hope to ask Xi to lift trade restrictions | Business and economy

The Australian leader says he wants to develop relations with China based on cooperation and national interests.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said he plans to ask Chinese President Xi Jinping to drop trade barriers on billions of dollars worth of exports if the two leaders meet for the first time this month.

Speaking before his departure for an East Asia summit in Cambodia on Friday, Albanese said he will ask Xi to lift “reciprocal” tariffs and other trade measures if the two men meet at high-profile gatherings, including G20 leaders. summit in Bali, which begins on Tuesday.

“They are not in the best interest of Australia, the wine industry, the meat industry and other industries where sanctions have been applied.” But it’s not in China’s interest either,” Albanese, whose centre-left Labor Party swept to power in May, told Australian National Radio.

Albanese, who succeeded conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison, said a meeting with Xi was not yet “closed” but he hoped to develop a relationship with China based on cooperation and national interests, after years of strained relations between the two sides.

Albanese’s comments come amid expectations that the Australian leader could meet Xi in the coming days, at the G20 summit or the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok. Xi is not expected to attend the East Asia summit in Cambodia, where Albanese will meet with regional leaders before traveling to Indonesia and Thailand next week.

“With the centralization of Xi’s power, the diplomacy that has the greatest chance of success is direct requests from foreign leaders to Xi,” James Laurenceson, director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney, told Al Jazeera.

“Trade sanctions and the arrested Australians will top Albanese’s list of key issues.” I expect he will send them a message that Australia’s policy towards Taiwan is the same and we also do not support the economic containment of China.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Australian counterpart Penny Wong earlier this week that their countries’ ties had recently undergone “positive changes”, but called on each side to address the other’s “legitimate concerns”, according to China’s foreign ministry.

China’s ambassador to Australia said in September that the two leaders could potentially meet without conditions after Labor’s election victory opened the door to a “potential reset of the relationship”.

No Australian leader has met with Xi since 2019, when Morrison spoke to the Chinese leader on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

While China is Australia’s largest trading partner, relations between the counties have soured in recent years amid a series of disputes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, national security and human rights issues.

Beijing has restricted billions of dollars of Australian exports, including beef, timber, sugar, lobster and wine, since 2020, when Morrison called for an independent international inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.

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