Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed Thursday he would visit China later this year after a meeting with Beijing’s Premier Li Qiang on the sidelines of a Southeast Asia summit in Indonesia.
The announcement comes as Canberra and Beijing try to stabilize relations after years of friction over political and economic issues including Chinese sanctions on Australian imports.
“I... confirmed the invitation from President Xi (Jinping). That I would accept an invitation and will visit China later this year at a mutually agreeable time,” he told reporters.
The trip would be the first visit to China by an Australian premier since 2016.
Albanese thanked the Chinese president for the invitation and said his talks with Li had been “constructive” and “positive,” adding the two countries needed more dialogue to improve relations.
“This was an important meeting. I told Premier Li that we would continue to cooperate where we can, disagree where we must and engage in our national interest,” he said.
Last November, Albanese met with Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.