After six-year wait, Albo aiming to mend fences with Chinese leader

China and Australia appear ready to mend their fractured relationship as the leaders of the two nations prepare for a highly anticipated meeting.

Nov 15, 2022, updated Nov 15, 2022
 (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

(AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s the first time since 2016 an Australian and Chinese leader have had a one-on-one meeting.

While Albanese would not reveal what he plans to discuss with the president, he considered it a success that a meeting was taking place.

“For six years we have not had any dialogue and it is not in Australia’s interest to not have dialogue with our major trading partners,” he told reporters in Bali.

“We will have a constructive dialogue. I will put Australia’s position on a range of issues, and of course, Australia’s positions on most of those is very well known.”

China’s trade sanctions on Australian products, security muscle-flexing and relationship with Russia provide a backdrop for the significant meeting.

The head of Australia’s peak business group, in Bali for the B20 meeting of industry representatives, described it as a “tremendous reset” with China.

“We’ve obviously had a set of difficulties in the relationship, but you can’t fix those if you don’t have a dialogue,” Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott said.

“This creates an opportunity for businesses to come in behind that reset the prime minister has done and start building those … relationships.”

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The prime minister’s meeting comes after Xi met United States President Joe Biden on Monday afternoon.

Xi said he hoped they would “chart the right course for the China-US relationship” and that he was prepared for a “candid and in-depth exchange of views” with Mr Biden.

Albanese has also confirmed bilateral talks with the new UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Leaders from the world’s strongest economies have descended on the Indonesian island of Bali for the G20 summit.

They aim to tackle the challenges faced across the world including inflation, climate change and the long-term effects of the pandemic.

-with Associated Press

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