03:55 – China congratulates new Australian PM, thaws after months of estrangement

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has sent a congratulatory message to his new Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, beginning a thaw after months of no official contact between the two countries.”The Chinese side is ready to work with the Australian side to look back and look to the future… to promote the healthy and steady growth of their comprehensive strategic partnership,” Li said. Monday evening by the official news agency Chine nouvelle. Relations between Beijing and Canberra are at their lowest since 2020, in the wake of Covid-19 and Australia’s request for an independent investigation into the origins of the pandemic. Australia then excluded the Chinese giant Huawei from the market for the construction of its 5G telecommunications network. China, Australia’s biggest trading partner, had retaliated by imposing punitive tariffs on more than a dozen Australian products, including coal, wine and barley. The Chinese congratulations come as Mr Albanese, who took office on Monday, is in Tokyo to attend the summit of the Quad (US, India, Japan, Australia), an informal group whose main raison d’être is to counter Chinese influence in Asia-Pacific. (Belga)

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