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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Xi praises PM for work to improve China relationship

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told an Australian delegation he is "heartened to see" that the relationship between the two countries is on the right path.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has declared his high-level talks with Xi Jinping "very successful" as his visit was hailed by the Chinese president as ushering in a new era in relations.

The prime minister met with the Chinese president in the Great Hall of the People on Monday evening for more than an hour.

Mr Xi cracked a rare smile and gave a warm handshake upon greeting Mr Albanese to the Chinese seat of power.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he has put forward Australia's position in a principled way.

The Chinese leader said Beijing and Canberra had "worked out some problems," referencing points of contention including human rights, escalation of threats against Taiwan and trade bans on Australian exports worth $20 billion at their height.

In his opening remarks, Mr Xi praised the prime minister for working to stabilise and improve relations with China.

"Now the China-Australia relationship has embarked on the right path of improvement and development," the Chinese leader told the Australian delegation.

"I'm heartened to see that.

"A healthy and stable China relationship serves the common interests of our two countries and two peoples."

Mr Albanese described the meeting as "warm" and "very successful".

"What we have done is continue to put forward Australia's position in a principled way, in a clear way, but in a way that hasn't sought to amplify differences to score a political point," he said.

The prime minister will meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Tuesday at the Great Hall of the People, where he will receive a ceremonial welcome on the last day of his trip to China.

Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the China Daily, splashed with the meeting between Mr Albanese and President Xi.

State run media stressed the importance of Australia and China cooperating through "mutual understanding and trust".

The issue of trade featured high up in the coverage.

The paper also cited "other issues" as having caused the relationship to stumble.

Mr Albanese is the first Australian prime minister to visit China since 2016, when Malcolm Turnbull made the visit as leader.

The former prime minister said while inroads had been made by the federal government, China had been looking for inroads to reset the relationship.

"(China) exercising coercive control failed ... it didn't result in any change in Australian policy, and in fact, arguably, resulted in us moving closer to our ally the United States,"

"China then needed an exit ramp, and the obvious exit ramp was a change in government.

Mr Turnbull said the relationship between the two countries stood on more stable ground.

"Australia has stood up to that (economic) pressure. China has recognised that doesn't, hasn't worked, and we've moved on to a more stable, normal, conventional relationship, and that's good," he said.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said the relationship with China was in a better place than it was one year ago.

"The prime minister went into this meeting not necessarily expecting to return with a bag of goodies, but ... there have been significant successes delivered to Australia in the form of new exports and jobs for Australians,"

Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts said the meeting between Mr Albanese and Mr Xi had already been a significant step forward.

"Dialogue is the sign of success ... we said that we would stabilise the relationship with China without compromising our national interest and that's exactly what we've done,"


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