The prime minister has doubled his message to Beijing to lift trade sanctions in an attempt to repair Australia and China’s relations, which he suggested had a “long way to go”.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has reiterated his calls on China to lift its trade sanctions against Australia to begin repairing the broken relationship.
Canberra and Beijing have begun face-to-face communication again after a diplomatic freeze that lasted nearly three years under the Morrison administration.
Albanese stressed the importance of lifting the sanctions after his Secretary of Defense Richard Marles met his Chinese counterpart almost two weeks ago.
Trade sanctions – imposed on several industries in 2020 after then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 – affected a number of Australian exports such as timber, coal, barley, meat and wine.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Beijing said had to first remove the sanctions against Australia before the relationship can begin to straighten out.
“It is China that has imposed sanctions, it is China that has changed and it is China that must remove these sanctions,” he said on June 15.
Albanese doubled his previous message to Beijing during an interview with ABC’s Leigh Sales on the 7:30 program.
“Well, China already, there have been some improvements, but there is a long way to go,” he said, referring to the restart of dialogue between their ministers.
“I said that before the election – regardless of the outcome – China has sanctions against Australia, which should be removed.
“They are hurting the Australian economy and jobs, but they are hurting the Chinese economy.”
He added that it would be a “problematic relationship” if the sanctions remained in place.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responded to Albanese’s initial sanctions.
“It is quite clear how the difficulties that the relationship between China and Australia is facing arose,” he said, pointing subtly to the previous coalition.
“China’s position on the development of bilateral relations is consistent and clear.
“The Australian side needs to manage the bilateral ties in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win results and work with China for the sound and stable development of China-Australia’s comprehensive strategic partnership.”
Sir. Albanese has toured the world and met world leaders in the first month of his leadership to represent the newly elected Labor government.
He told Sales that he would too meets with French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron when he travels to Europe for the NATO summit next Tuesday.
The prime minister said it was a chance to “reset” Paris and Canberra’s relationship after it got sour when Australia scrapped its $ 90 billion submarine deal with France.
Morrison instead chose to join the United States and Britain for the trilateral AUKUS agreement to acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines.