Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Australian Foreign Minister to Visit China as Frosty Relations Thaw

Australian Foreign Minister to Visit China  as Frosty Relations Thaw

SYDNEY/BEIJING - Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne will travel to China this week, the two governments announced on Monday, as China ended an unofficial suspension for more than six months of visits by top Australian government ministers.
Ties between the two countries, which compete for influence in Asia and particularly in the Pacific, have been strained since Australia accused China of meddling in its domestic affairs late last year.
Ending the stand-off, China’s foreign ministry said Payne’s visit, which begins on Wednesday, will include talks with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Her trip is being seen in Australia as a bid by China to seek warmer ties with Australia’s recently installed Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“I am looking forward to discussions with Minister Wang to enhance bilateral understanding and cooperation across the full range of Australia’s interests, spanning strategic, economic and people-to-people connections,” Payne said in a statement.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying noted that Payne and Wang had met in September on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly and had reached “an important consensus” on ties.
“We are willing to work hard with the Australian side on the basis of mutual respect, equality and benefit to expand exchanges and cooperation in all fields, to promote Sino-Australian relations to achieve new developments,” Hua told reporters. In August, Morrison become Australia’s sixth different prime minister in the last decade after a backbench revolt ousted his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, who criticized China and banned its Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL] from Australia’s broadband network. (Reuters)