China’s Wang Yi invited to Australia as Beijing, Canberra ties thaw after prolonged frost

Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in July 2022. - AFP FILE

BEIJING: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been invited to Australia for a two-day visit in the second half of March, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter.

He is expected to discuss a range of issues on the table, according to the report, as bilateral relations between the countries warm.

Visits by foreign government officials "will be announced at the appropriate time,” a spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

Australia was confident that a review of heavy tariffs on wine exports to China would be completed by the end of March, Trade Minister Don Farrell said Tuesday (Feb 27), after he met with his Chinese counterpart Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization’s conference in the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

The five-month review into the tariffs on Australian wine was initiated by the Chinese government in late November. A similar review process with tariffs placed on Australian barley earlier in 2023 had led to a lifting of the sanctions.

Wang is expected to spend one day in Canberra and another day in Sydney, according to the SCMP report.

The Australia-China Foreign and Strategic Dialogue was last held in Beijing in December 2022, and the next meeting of top officials is expected to take place in Australia. - Bloomberg

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