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Australian PM meets China’s Xi in Beijing

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Beijing, Nov 6:  Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met Chinese President Xi Jinping here on Monday.

The announcement was made by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.

Albanese, who arrived in Shanghai on November 5, became the first Australian Prime Minister to visit China since 2016.

In a post on Monday morning, Albanese said: “It is 50 years since Gough Whitlam became the first Australian Prime Minister to visit China. Since he visited the Temple of Heaven in Beijing much has changed.

“But what is constant is that engagement between our two countries remains important.”

Whitlam’s iconic visit to China to meet Mao Zedong in 1973 marked the first trip by an Australian Prime Minister after the establishment of diplomatic ties.

After a series of trade and security disputes between the two nations, Albanese’s visit is aimed at easing years of tensions, the BBC reported.

“What I’ve said is that we need to co-operate with China where we can, disagree where we must and engage in our national interest,” the Prime Minister told rreporters in Beijing on Monday, ahead of the meeting.

Asked by reporters if Australia can “trust” China, Albanese said his past engagements with Mr Xi have been “positive” and “constructive”.

“But we recognise, as well, that we come with different political systems, very different values arising from that and different histories. But we deal with each other on face value,” the BBC quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

IANS

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