After Three Years of Communication Halt China-Australia Trade Hold Their 1st Meeting

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China and Australia are starting to thaw the ice walls that separate them in terms of exports. They had their first-ever meeting on Monday since the last in 2019. 

Australia pleads with China to lift official and unofficial export barriers costing exporters $14 billion yearly on their bilateral meeting. Since the centre-left Labor Party of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was elected in May for the first time in nine years, China has defrosted its diplomatic blockade on Australia.

For context, the trade barriers were set by China as a consequence of the previous Australian government committing the following:

  • passing of laws prohibiting covert foreign interference in domestic politics 
  • its denial of Huawei’s request to build Australia’s 5G network due to security concerns
  • and Australia’s demand for an independent investigation into the COVID-19 pandemic

Albanese has urged China to show its good faith toward its government by removing trade barriers on Australian exports of wine, coal, meat, seafood, barley, and wood. As a means towards the quick and full resumption of commerce, Don Farrell, the minister of international trade, and Wang Wentao, his Chinese counterpart, arranged closed doors to increase communication at all levels.

“Our discussion covered a range of trade and investment issues, including the need for resumption of unimpeded trade for Australian exporters so that Chinese consumers can continue to benefit from high-quality Australian products,” Farrell released a statement after the conference call from Australia’s Parliament House.

“I’m looking forward to open and candid exchanges of views with you,” Wang told Farrell. “I’m also very much happy to extend an invitation to you to visit China at a time convenient to you. And I believe that your next trip to China will leave you with a different impression.”

However, despite accepting the invitation, Farrell still needs to lock in a final date. “The outcomes of our discussions can be of great benefit to both our countries and our consumers,” Farrell said.

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