Li urges ‘shelving differences’ with Australia

Premier Li Qiang called for “shelving differences” with Australia as he launched a visit centred on the promise of economic opportunities.

Li offered the olive branch after landing in Adelaide yesterday for a four-day diplomatic trip, which comes after China lifted punitive trade sanctions against a string of major Australian exports.

“History has proven that mutual respect, seeking common ground while shelving differences and mutually beneficial cooperation are valuable experiences in growing China-Australia relations and must be carried forward,” he said in a written arrival statement.

“A more mature, stable and fruitful comprehensive strategic partnership will be a treasure shared by the people of both countries.”

Li – the second most powerful man in China after President Xi Jinping – is the highest ranking Chinese official to visit Australia since 2017.

China has gradually removed swingeing trade sanctions on wine, timber, barley and beef exports imposed in 2020 during a diplomatic rift with a former conservative government.

The measures cost Australian exporters an estimated A$20bil (RM62.4bil) a year.

Economic relations between the two countries have eased since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government took power in 2022 and adopted a softer diplomatic approach to Beijing. — AFP

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