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HomeBreaking NewsAustralian visit to China raises hopes on trade, detainees

Australian visit to China raises hopes on trade, detainees

'Quick read' news summary

CANBERRA, Australia — The first visit by an Australian foreign minister to China in four years is raising hopes that Australia will make progress on ending trade sanctions and freeing two Australian citizens detained in China.

But Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong cautioned on Tuesday before leaving that some of the thorny issues between the countries will take time to resolve.

Still, diplomacy experts welcomed the visit as a positive move following years of frosty relations.

Wong will meet with her counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing this week as Australia and China mark 50 years of diplomatic relations. The visit will include a new round of talks on foreign and strategic issues after the talks were suspended in 2018.

“There has been a lot of speculation in the last 24 hours or more about what will happen,” Wong told reporters. “I will say this: the expectation should be that we will have a meeting, and that dialogue itself is essential to stabilizing the relationship. Many of the hard issues in the relationship will take time to resolve in our interests.”

She said she didn’t want to speculate on outcomes because it could have an impact on Australia’s leverage in the talks.

“In relation to consular cases, to save you asking the question, obviously I will be raising consular cases, as I always do, just as I will continue to advocate for the trade impediments to be lifted,” Wong said.

Australia has been pushing for the release of spy novelist Yang Hengjun, who China accused of

CANBERRA, Australia -- The first visit by an Australian foreign minister to China in four years is raising hopes that Australia will make progress on ending trade sanctions and freeing two Australian citizens detained in China. But Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong cautioned on Tuesday before leaving that some of the thorny issues between the countries will take time to resolve. Wong will meet with her counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing this week as Australia and China mark 50 years of diplomatic relations.

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