Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sent a letter to congratulate Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albaniz on his election victory, which some Australian media reported on Tuesday was a thaw in bilateral relations that China had plunged into a deep freeze two years ago.
Chinese ministers refused to speak to the Australian government under former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative regime.
Albanians and Foreign Minister Penny Wong flew to Tokyo for summits with leaders of the United States, Japan and India shortly after Australia’s centre-left Labor Party narrowly won Saturday after taking an oath on Monday.
“The healthy and stable development of China-Australia relations is in line with the fundamental interests and common aspirations of the peoples of our two countries, and is conducive to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region,” Li said in an interview with an Albanian. reported
“China is ready to promote the healthy and stable development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries by learning from the past and looking forward to the future together with Australia, upholding the principle of mutual respect and win-win results,” Li added.
Abanese confirmed that he had received “congratulatory letters” from Li and other world leaders.
“I welcome it,” the Albanian said in Tokyo. “We will respond appropriately.” The Albanian said he expects relations between the two countries to remain difficult despite changes in the Australian government.
The Albanese has pledged greater engagement from its South Pacific island neighbors and Australia to counter growing Chinese influence in the region.
Labor has described the recently announced security pact between China and the Solomon Islands as Australia’s worst foreign policy failure in the Pacific region since World War II. Morrison argued that China wanted Labor to win because the Labor administration was unlikely to resist Beijing’s economic coercion.
Albanese told Quad partners on Tuesday that the Australian government has changed but the country’s commitment to a security alliance has not.
“The new Australian Government’s priorities are to take action on climate change and build a stronger and resilient Indo-Pacific through better economic security, better cybersecurity, better energy security, better environmental and health security,” Albanese said. It aligns with the Quad agenda.” .
When asked if China-Australia relations were thawing from a ‘deep freeze’, Finance Minister Jim Chalmers told Australian Broadcasting on Tuesday: “We want to work with countries in the region to ensure a stable and prosperous future. “He said.
Relations between the two countries peaked in 2014 when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the National Assembly, a year after the administration of Prime Minister Tony Abbott first took office.
But relations were freed by conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who offended China by outlawing covert foreign interference in domestic politics that continued under conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Although the two countries are free trade partners, China has created a series of formal and informal trade barriers to Australia’s billions of dollars in exports.
After Conservative lawmakers replaced Turnbull with Morrison in 2018, Lee praised Morrison’s “positive attitude” as he helped restore relations that had frozen diplomacy.
John Blaxland, professor of international security and intelligence studies at the Australian National University, described Li’s message to Albanians as “a positive step”.
“Now, back in Australia, Penny Wong and Anthony Albanese should take advantage of this and find an opportunity to open the freezer door,” Blaxland said.
Since relations between the two countries have deteriorated since Labor came to power in 2013, China can be expected to question the new administration.
“This is an important inflection point. We know it’s hard to actually identify policy differences, but in these kinds of areas, words matter, … a change in tone … really matters,” Blaxland said.