Albanese criticizes China’s trade barriers at Shanghai expo, calling them unnecessary.

Anthony Albanese indirectly criticized China for their aggressive tactics in the ongoing trade conflict with Canberra. He stated at a trade exhibition in Shanghai that the success of both Australia and China is a result of the predictability and stability that comes from trade based on established rules.

Although he diplomatically expressed disapproval towards Beijing’s trade strategies, the prime minister of Australia did not dismiss the possibility of supporting China’s longstanding goal of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a significant regional agreement.

During his important visit to China, on the initial day of official business, Albanese gave a speech at the biggest international trade show in the country, following the opening statements of China’s premier, Li Qiang.

While being observed by premier Li, Albanese acknowledged the significant responsibility that the government holds in cultivating an environment conducive to business innovation and success, as well as assisting businesses in capitalizing on market opportunities.

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Albanese stated that our approach involves removing unnecessary obstacles to trade and investment, promoting fair competition, and striving for inclusive economic development.

The prime minister of Australia acknowledged that all countries have a responsibility to promote trade that is environmentally friendly and inclusive. This can be accomplished by implementing effective domestic policies and creating a welcoming and inclusive regional and global framework.

Beforehand, the leader of China expressed in his initial speech that China strongly opposes acting alone and trade barriers, and will strongly support the power and effectiveness of the system for international trade.

Even though China had implemented retaliatory trade measures against Australian exports during their intense trade conflict, Li’s statements contradict this as some of these measures are still enforced.

In August, China removed tariffs on Australian barley and in late October, they also promised to reassess the penalties placed on Australian wine makers. On Saturday evening, Australia’s trade minister Don Farrell had a meeting with China’s commerce minister Wang Wentao in order to advocate for the removal of remaining sanctions on Australian exports, such as rock lobsters.

In a reassuring move by the Chinese government following conflicts with the US and Australia, Li announced at the Shanghai trade expo that China is committed to maintaining the stability of global supply chains. He also expressed the country’s commitment to fostering international agreement and regulations that support openness, cooperation, and eliminate the interference of non-economic influences.

China’s premier stated on Sunday that they will continue to align with the progress of the times and be on the right side of history.

The premier participated in the initial gathering of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai prior to engaging with business leaders from Australia and China. Afterwards, they attended a reception thrown by Tourism Australia in the afternoon.

Albanese told the expo in the half century since Gough Whitlam had first visited China – a milestone being marked during the first visit to China by an Australian prime minister since 2016 – “both our economies have transformed and modernised and diversified in ways that our predecessors could not have imagined.”

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The prime minister stated that peace and prosperity are closely linked. Albanese commented, “Both of our countries have experienced the advantages of a region that has developed and thrived, becoming more connected and cooperative – a region that has remained stable and tranquil.”

The tourism and educational exchange between our two societies has been mutually beneficial, as well as the contributions of innovators and small business owners. Since the implementation of the China Australia free trade agreement, our trade in goods and services has almost doubled. This has resulted in a larger availability of high-quality Australian products for consumers in China, as well as essential resources for Chinese businesses.

On Sunday evening, Albanese will journey to Beijing where he will meet with China’s president, Xi Jinping, at the Great Hall of the People on Monday. It is anticipated that Xi will request Australia’s backing for China’s inclusion in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

During his visit on Sunday, Premier Li announced China’s plans to seek higher level open platforms in order to expand their global-oriented free trade agreements. He also expressed their intention to actively pursue joining the CPTTP. Australia is anticipating that China will request their support in achieving this goal.

During a press conference, Albanese was questioned about Australia’s stance on China’s participation in the regional trade agreement. The prime minister stated that the pact has strict criteria, but he chose not to elaborate until after his meeting with the president on Monday. He also mentioned that it would be improper for Australia to reveal their position during press conferences.

Albanese is expected to raise human rights and consular issues, including the continuing detention of the writer, Yang Hengjun. China released the Australian journalist Cheng Lei in the weeks leading up to the Australian visit.

The prime minister was questioned about his opinion on the potential repatriation of two pandas from Adelaide to China. Albanese informed journalists that he had encountered “those amazing pandas” at the Adelaide Zoo and believed it was a beneficial occurrence for them to have resided in Adelaide.

He stated that he comprehended the idea of pandas experiencing homesickness.

“I would like to advocate for the continued presence of pandas in Australia on behalf of Australian children and families.”


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