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Australian Prime Minister set to visit China, focusing on resolving wine and wind tower disputes for progress.

Australian PM to Travel to China for Crucial Talks

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced his upcoming trip to China, highlighting the potential to stabilize relations with the country’s biggest trading partner.

Albanese revealed that he will be meeting with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang during his visit from November 4th to 7th. This will be the first time an Australian leader has traveled to China since 2016, marking a significant step towards repairing the strained relationship between the two countries.

The announcement comes on the heels of a major breakthrough in resolving the ongoing wine dispute between Australia and China. The two sides have reached a consensus to settle the World Trade Organization (WTO) wine dispute, as well as a separate dispute over Australian duties on Chinese wind towers. These disputes have had a detrimental impact on trade between the two nations.

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Repairing relations with China has been a top priority for Albanese since assuming office in 2022. He emphasized the importance of stabilizing the relationship, highlighting the potential for cooperation in economic links, climate change, and fostering connections between the people of both nations.

Speaking in Canberra, Albanese stated that a deal had been reached with China to review their position on wine tariffs. This could potentially lead to the resumption of Australian wine imports worth $800 million annually, which were heavily impacted by the imposed duties in 2021. Albanese expressed confidence that this agreement would allow Australian wine to once again enter the Chinese market free from tariffs.

Although wind towers were not mentioned, Australia’s Anti-Dumping Commission recommended lifting anti-dumping measures on Chinese wind towers on October 16th. A final decision on this matter is yet to be made.

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The Chinese Commerce Ministry released a statement expressing willingness to work with Australia to promote stable and healthy economic and trade relations. This diplomatic thaw has already seen China lift restrictions on imports of Australian coal, timber, and barley, which were imposed in response to Australia’s call for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.

The resumption of trade between the two nations is crucial, especially considering the significant impact of the wine tariffs on Australia’s winemakers. These tariffs, reaching up to 218%, have severely affected the country’s most valuable export market in the wine industry.

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