Anthony Albanese indirectly criticized China for their aggressive tactics during the ongoing trade conflict with Australia. He addressed attendees at a trade event in Shanghai, stating that “Australia and China have both benefited from the predictability and security that comes from a trade system based on rules.”
Australia’s prime minister recently expressed criticism towards Beijing’s trade strategies, but did not completely dismiss the possibility of supporting China’s goal of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a significant regional agreement.
On the inaugural day of his significant visit to China, Albanese gave a speech at the foremost global trade exhibition in the country, following the introductory comments by China’s premier, Li Qiang.
Premier Li was present as Albanese acknowledged the significant responsibility of the government in fostering an environment conducive to business innovation and success, and supporting businesses in seizing market opportunities.
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Albanese stated that our approach involves removing unnecessary obstacles to trade and investment, promoting fair competition, and striving for inclusive economic development.
The prime minister of Australia stated that all countries have a responsibility to promote sustainable and inclusive trade. This can be accomplished through both domestic policies and promoting open and inclusive regional and global frameworks.
A short time prior, the leader of China expressed in his initial speech that China firmly denounces acting alone and shielding one’s own interests, and will strongly support the legitimacy and success of the global trade system.
Li’s statements are in contradiction to China’s implementation of retaliatory trade penalties on Australian exports during the intense trade dispute between the two countries. Certain sanctions are still in effect.
In August, China removed tariffs on Australian barley and in late October, they agreed to reassess the penalties placed on Australian wine makers. On Saturday evening, Australia’s trade minister Don Farrell held a meeting with China’s commerce minister Wang Wentao to advocate for the removal of remaining restrictions on Australian exports, such as rock lobsters.
After experiencing conflicts with the US and Australia, the Chinese government is expressing a positive stance by striving for global supply chain stability. During the Shanghai trade expo, Li stated that China is committed to fostering international agreement and regulations that support openness and collaboration while eliminating any hindrance from non-economic influences.
China’s leader stated on Sunday that China will remain on the correct side of history and continue to progress with the times.
The prime minister participated in the inaugural meeting of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, followed by a gathering with Australian and Chinese business representatives. Later in the day, the prime minister also attended a reception organized by Tourism Australia.
Albanese told the expo in the half century since Gough Whitlam had first visited China – a milestone being marked during the first visit to China by an Australian prime minister since 2016 – “both our economies have transformed and modernised and diversified in ways that our predecessors could not have imagined.”
The prime minister emphasized the correlation between peace and prosperity. Albanese stated, “Both of our countries have reaped the rewards of a region that has flourished and thrived, becoming more interconnected and open – a region that has remained stable and peaceful.”
Both our nations have benefited from tourism and educational partnerships, as well as from the contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners. Additionally, our trade in goods and services has almost doubled since the implementation of the China Australia free trade agreement. This has resulted in a greater availability of top-notch Australian products for consumers in China, as well as essential resources for Chinese businesses.
On Sunday evening, Albanese will be making a trip to Beijing where he will meet with China’s president, Xi Jinping, at the Great Hall of the People on Monday. It is anticipated that Xi will urge for Australia’s backing in China’s bid to become a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
During the visit on Sunday, Premier Li stated that China aims to establish additional open platforms at a high level to broaden free trade agreements with a global focus. China also plans to actively seek membership in the CPTTP. As a result, Australia anticipates China will request their support in achieving this goal.
During a press conference, Albanese was questioned about Australia’s stance on China joining the regional trade agreement. The prime minister stated that the pact has strict requirements, but he refrained from elaborating before his meeting with the president on Monday. He also noted that it would not be appropriate for Australia to publicly announce its stance during press conferences.
Albanese is anticipated to address concerns regarding human rights and consular matters, specifically the ongoing imprisonment of writer Yang Hengjun. Prior to the Australian visit, China released Australian journalist Cheng Lei.
The prime minister was questioned about his opinion on the potential repatriation of two pandas from Adelaide back to China. Albanese shared with journalists that he had the pleasure of meeting “those delightful pandas” at Adelaide Zoo and believes it is a beneficial occurrence that they were able to reside in Adelaide.
He stated that he comprehended the concept of pandas experiencing homesickness.
“As a representative for Australian children and families, I hope to see pandas continue to be present in Australia.”