China’s top diplomat visits Australia, pushes stable relations

Foreign Minister Wang Yi met his counterpart in Canberra in the most senior leadership visit in 7 years.

In a possible sign that often frosty relations are warming, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met counterpart Penny Wong in the Australian capital Canberra on Wednesday. It’s the highest level meeting between the two countries since 2017.

Wong pushed for the removal of tariffs on wine, rock lobster and meat products imposed in 2020, but didn’t shy away from raising rights concerns.

“As you would expect, I raised Australia’s concerns about human rights including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong,”  Wong told a post-meeting news conference. 

“I expressed our serious concern about unsafe conduct at sea, our desire for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in our region.”

Wong also raised the case of Yang Hengjun, the Australian writer who was convicted of spying and given a suspended death sentence in February.

“Australians found the sentence imposed shocking,” Wong told reporters.

“We will not walk away from our advocacy for Dr Yang Jun.”

The meeting paves the way for a visit to Australia by Chinese Premier Li Qiang, planned for the middle of this year. Both foreign ministers said the plans are “on track.”

Wang earlier visited New Zealand where he met his counterpart Winston Peters and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon.

Edited by Taejun Kang. 


This content originally appeared on Radio Free Asia and was authored by By Mike Firn for RFA.

This post was originally published on Radio Free.


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By Mike Firn for RFA | radiofree.asia (2024-04-14T13:32:11+00:00) » China’s top diplomat visits Australia, pushes stable relations. Retrieved from https://radiofree.asia/2024/03/20/chinas-top-diplomat-visits-australia-pushes-stable-relations/.
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