Australia Might Ask China to Lift Trade Restrictions

    Photo: Getty Images [via Sky News]

    The Facts

    • Australia's PM Anthony Albanese told ABC Radio on Friday of possible talks with China's Xi Jinping ahead of his departure to Cambodia for the East Asia summit, asserting that Beijing must lift "counterproductive" trade sanctions on his country.

    • According to Albanese, both countries would be better off if China removed the $20B in sanctions on Australian goods. However, he confirmed that Australia wouldn't enter any discussions without preconditions.

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    Some Australian political forces have purposely damaged bilateral relations with China by characterizing Beijing as an adversary and a threat, banning Huawei and joining the US's confrontational Indo-Pacific strategy. Albanese's efforts to mend relations will be a welcome move as dialogue and cooperation are in the best interests of both sides.

    Anti-China narrative

    The PRC boasts of the importance of mending its bilateral relations with Australia but has become increasingly internationally aggressive and domestically interventionist. A successful meeting could send an important signal that Beijing isn't inclined to roll back globalization or split the world into opposing blocs, but it remains to be seen if a meeting will even take place.

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