Penny Wong’s trip to China to focus on re-establishing diplomatic dialogue

Home Politics Penny Wong’s trip to China to focus on re-establishing diplomatic dialogue
Penny Wong’s trip to China to focus on re-establishing diplomatic dialogue

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has sought to manage expectations around her trip to China, saying re-engaging with the country on a diplomatic level is the first step to stabilising the two countries’ relationship.

Senator Wong will fly to Beijing today in the first visit to China by an Australian minister since the country was put in the diplomatic deep freeze in 2019.

Before leaving, she made clear “hard issues” between the two countries, including trade sanctions and Australians detained in China, would not be resolved overnight.

“The prime minister has made it very clear we seek a stable relationship with China,” she said.

“As I have said in the past, this will take time but I do see this visit as another step in the road.

“We will co-operate where we can, we will disagree where we must and we will engage in our national interest.

“There has been a lot of speculation in the last 24 hours or more about what will happen. I will say this, the expectation should be that we will have a meeting, and that dialogue itself is essential to stabilising the relationship.”

The foreign minister said she would continue to advocate on behalf of Australian businesses to have trade sanctions lifted, and on behalf of detained Australians.

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