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China’s Premier to meet winemakers

By Wednesday 12 June 2024No Comments

China Premier Li Qiang – second in command to President Xi Jinping – will meet with business leaders including winemakers in Adelaide on Saturday.

It will be the first visit to Australia by a Chinese Premier since 2017.

It comes a few months after China dropped the cripping tariffs on Australian wine.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says, “Premier Li Qiang’s visit to Australia is an important opportunity to engage directly on key issues for both our nations.

“China is Australia’s largest trading partner and our economic relationship continues to bring substantial benefits to both our countries.

“Welcoming the Chinese Premier to our shores is an opportunity for Australia to advance our interests by demonstrating our national values, our people’s qualities and our economy’s strengths.

“Australia continues to pursue a stable and direct relationship with China, with dialogue at its core.

“We will cooperate where we can, disagree where we must and engage in our national interest.”

A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the visit would focus on “enhancing communications and friendship and exploring new potential for cooperation”.

Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University, told the Global Times that Premier Li’s visit to Australia symbolises that “China-Australia ties have returned to the normal track after frosty bilateral relations of the past years under the former administration of Scott Morrison”.

“The current Australian government has demonstrated willingness to improve bilateral relations and has made efforts to bring ties back to the right track, which can be seen from the meetings between the leaders of both nations in Bali, Indonesia in 2022 and Prime Minister Albanese’s visit to China in 2023,” Chen says.

Australia’s wine export to China reached $1.2 billion in 2019.

Albanese and Premier Li will hold the Annual Leaders’ Meeting at Parliament House in Canberra, where they will exchange views on bilateral, regional and international issues.

Premier Li, 64, who became the eighth Premier of China in March 2023, will also visit New Zealand and Malaysia as part of the trip abroad.


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