Australia and China reset relationship

Australia and China have taken a first step towards repairing their diplomatic relationship following a "constructive" meeting between the leaders of the two nations.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali on Tuesday.

It marked the end of a six-year diplomatic freeze and the start of better diplomatic relations.

China's $20 billion trade sanctions on Australia, detention of Australian citizens and relationship with Russia were discussed at the meeting.

The pair also discussed climate change and Mr Albanese urged Mr Xi to maintain the status quo when it comes to Taiwan.

But Mr Albanese said both leaders spoke honestly with each other about these issues.

"We have big differences to manage, but we're always going to be better off when we have dialogue and are able to talk constructively and respectfully, but also honestly, about what those differences are," he told reporters in Bali.

The prime minister said he urged the president to exercise China's influence on Russia in relation to the war in Ukraine.

But he said it would have been unrealistic to assume there would be solutions to the challenges in the Australia-China relationship in one meeting.

Mr Albanese described the meeting as a first step to moving forward but there were many more to go and there would be further meetings in future.

"It was a warm discussion ... I put (Australia's) position, clearly, firmly, but politely," he said.

Before the meeting, Mr Xi said he did not want difficulties in the China-Australia relationship.

"China and Australia are both important countries in the Asia Pacific region," he said.

"We should improve, maintain and develop our relationship as it is consistent with the fundamental interests of both countries' people."

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the importance of the meeting should not be underestimated as Australia seeks to "stabilise" the relationship between the countries.

"Australia's relationship with China has been in a difficult place, we know that," she told reporters on Wednesday.

"There are differences we need to manage, differences that will need to be dealt with but those differences are best managed through engagement ... we will cooperate where we can, we will disagree where we must and we will engage in the national interest."

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said he hoped the talks would lead to an easing of trade bans placed on Australia.

"There are many other steps in the relationship, so let's hope that they can proceed, but from our perspective, we want a normalised relationship, but China has made that very hard over recent years," he told Sky News.