Australia, China Hold Fence-mending Talks

Australia, China Hold Fence-mending Talks

June 18, 2024, 8:02 a.m.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Chinese Premier Li Qiang met Monday in Canberra and agreed to stabilize ties through dialogue in fields such as security.

The two countries signed five memorandums of understanding to strengthen cooperation in areas including trade and climate change. They agreed to hold talks again next year.

Albanese said one "very practical" measure discussed was improving military communication to avoid altercations. The two countries' armed forces have faced off several times in recent years. Last month, the Australian military said one of its navy helicopters had "an unsafe and unprofessional interaction" with a Chinese fighter jet.

In the economic field, Albanese hailed China's abolition of steep tariffs on his country's products.

China lifted what it called anti-dumping tariffs on Australian wine in March and canceled a ban on five Australian beef exporters last month.

Utilizing "panda diplomacy," Li said China will newly lend two of the cuddly bears to Australia. Beijing is believed to be trying to improve ties with Canberra to keep its ally Washington in check.

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