Singapore: Foreign Minister Penny Wong has met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi for the third time in five months, paving the way for a meeting between Xi Jinping and Anthony Albanian at the G20.
The two leaders are expected to meet next week at the meeting of the world’s 20 largest economies in Bali, after three years of tension dominated by trade strikes, disputes over COVID-19 and human rights.
But China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that the relationship has “endured positive changes” of late.
“China and Australia should gradually address each other’s legitimate concerns,” Wang told Wong on Tuesday evening.
The concession, which noted both Australia’s and China’s concerns, is a departure from years of heated rhetoric in which Beijing accused Australia of treating it as an “adversary” or “threat” while labeling it as the “deputy sheriff.” ” of the United States. States in the region.
China launched trade strikes on $20 billion worth of Australian exports in 2020 and 2021, restricting imports of half a dozen items, including coal, beef, wine and barley, into China. Australian exporters say they are still struggling to access what was once their most profitable market.
Chinese officials also arrested two Chinese-Australians, writer Yang Hengjun and journalist Cheng Lei on charges the Australian government believes are politically motivated. Both remain behind bars.
On Tuesday, foreign ministers discussed trade and consular matters, pointing out the main points of contention between the two countries. Wang was elevated to the politburo at the 20th National Party Congress in Beijing in October, putting him in charge of the implementation of China’s foreign policy following the retirement of veteran Yang Jiechi, the 72-year-old who oversaw the mounting animosity between China, the United States and its allies.