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Messages point to thaw in ties with Australia

Pub Date:22-12-22 10:25 Source:China Daily

The Chinese and Australian national flags in Sydney, Australia. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and Australia vowed on Wednesday to develop a stable and constructive relationship as they commemorated the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties, showing the world their efforts to thaw the frosty relationship, which had hit a low beginning in 2018.

President Xi Jinping exchanged congratulations with Australian Governor-General David Hurley and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the 50th anniversary on Wednesday, with the leaders from both countries pledging to promote the development of bilateral ties based on the principle of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.

Xi said in his congratulatory message that China and Australia are important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and the sound and steady development of bilateral ties is in the shared interests of both peoples and is also conducive to regional and world peace, stability and prosperity.

Noting that he attaches great importance to the development of relations with Australia, Xi said he stands ready to work with Australia in promoting the sustainable development of the countries' comprehensive strategic partnership.

Hurley said in his message that the historic decision 50 years ago paved the way for the development of bilateral relations, bringing growth and opportunities to both countries. Looking ahead, Australia remains committed to a stable and constructive relationship with China that is guided by mutual respect and mutual benefit and is in keeping with their comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.

China-Australia relations had encountered setbacks since 2018. The Chinese Foreign Ministry had criticized Australia on many occasions over its moves to obstruct normal bilateral exchanges and cooperation out of ideological bias, interfere in China's domestic affairs, undermine mutual political trust between the two countries and poison the atmosphere of bilateral relations.

Signs that bilateral ties began to thaw appeared last month when Xi met with Albanese on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia. They agreed to bring ties to the right track by overcoming differences and engaging in dialogue.

On Wednesday, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the sixth round of China-Australia Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Beijing.

During the meeting, Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that difficulties in China-Australia relations in the past few years are the last thing both countries want to see.

The two countries should and absolutely can become partners that need each other, given that there is no historical grudge or any fundamental conflict of interests between them, he said, calling on the two sides to push for the further improvement of bilateral ties.

Wong said a stable and constructive Australia-China relationship conforms to the interests of both countries and the entire region.

Australia's new government adheres to the one-China policy and will well manage the two countries' differences instead of amplifying them, she said.

They also exchanged views about the Ukraine crisis, Asia-Pacific security and China-United States relations.

In a joint outcomes statement issued after the dialogue, the two sides agreed to maintain high-level engagement and to commence or restart dialogue in areas including bilateral relations, trade and economic issues, consular affairs, climate change, defense and regional and international issues.

They also agreed to support people-to-people exchanges, including the China-Australia CEO Roundtable and visits by bilateral business delegations.

As the world's second-largest economy, China is Australia's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching $231.2 billion last year.


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