Australia’s Foreign Minister discusses human rights and trade during visit to China

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Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has visited Beijing, China, to discuss important issues regarding trade blockages and human rights.

Ms Wong met with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and covered many topics during their 100-minute meeting.

“There was a discussion about opportunities for further dialogue to work through how we might do what is in the best interest of both countries and certainly in terms of Australian exporters and Chinese consumers,” Ms Wong said.“That is for the trade blockages to be removed.”

Ms Wong urged Beijing to lift trade sanctions on Australian goods worth $20 billion.

She also raised the issue of two Australian journalists who are currently detained in China – Cheng Lei and Yang Hengjun.

“We advocate for a range of things, they include for those Australians to be reunited with their families as soon as possible, but we also advocate for the observance of consular agreements,” Ms Wong stated.

Commenting on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and China, Ms Wong said she recognises that both countries are very different but both governments are seeking common ground to manage the relationship.

“We have very different political systems. We have very different views about how our political system should operate. And we have different interests. But we need to seek to manage those differences,” she said.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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