Prime Minister Anthony Albanese rules out potential Beijing trip as New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern plans China trade visit

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has brushed off talks of any potential trips to Beijing following his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as Jacinda Ardern plans a trade visit to the country. 

Mr Albanese met with the Chinese President on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali this week marking the first formal bilateral meeting with Mr Xi since 2016.

Speaking on the final day of the APEC Summit in Bangkok on Saturday, Mr Albanese said he had “constructive” talks with Mr Xi but deemed it too soon to plan an upcoming visit. 

“What we’ve had this week is first steps. And I’m not getting ahead of myself,” he said. 

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“I think that engagement with China, like engagement with other nations, is constructive.

“We’ll continue to, arising out of this week’s progress, take steps forward together.”

The Albanese government has sought to repair bilateral relations with China after the relationship soured over trade sanctions and military priorities in recent years.

On Tuesday Mr Albanese described his meeting with Mr Xi was “successful” and confirmed there will be “further dialogue” between the two countries.

It comes as the New Zealand Prime Minister was invited to lead a trade mission to China during a 50 minute bilateral meeting with Mr Xi on Friday. 

The New Zealand government said in a statement that both leaders confirmed the visit by Ardern would take place at a “mutually agreeable time”.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrapped up the end of a nine-day three-summit sweep through Asia on Saturday. 

Mr Albanese said the trip was not only successful in re-engaging relations with China, but also in fast-tracking the finalisations of key free trade deals and securing Myanmar’s release of jailed economist Sean Turnell. 

“In today’s globalised world, the challenges can’t be dealt with just by nation states acting alone. We need to have cooperation,” Mr Albanese said.

“I think we’ve seen the shoots of (that) over the last week. It has been very constructive, and I leave these meetings with my optimism that the world and the region can guide the economic recovery and seize the opportunities that come from the transition to net zero, to create a better future that you’ve heard me speak about before.”

During the nine-day stint Mr Albanese met with the leaders of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, France, India, Germany, Chile, Japan, Korea, Canada, New Zealand, UK and China. 

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