Chinese media offers four more steps Australia can take to lift sanctions

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·Associate News Editor
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While Beijing delivered a four-step process to help improve Sino-Australian relations, Chinese state media has issued its own four key steps Canberra can take to lift trade sanctions imposed on China under the Morrison government.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered four demands in the wake of his landmark meeting with Australian counterpart Penny Wong which was seen as a positive step as the two countries emerge from a China-imposed diplomatic freeze.

Beijing has repeatedly called for "concrete actions" to mend damaged ties, and while they eventually saw the Morrison government as a lost cause, it is re-entertaining the idea of a reset under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

And now an infamous Beijing mouthpiece, the antagonistic Global Times, has outlined four measures that will bring "real improvements" to the China-Australia trade which became collateral damage during the fallout.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has his hands full dealing with the relationship with China. Source: Getty
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has his hands full dealing with the relationship with China. Source: Getty

"The question is: to what extent can the positive signals be translated into actual improvement in bilateral trade relations?" the nationalistic tabloid asked.

"If Australia is really sincere about resolving some trade issues, it cannot just talk about its concerns and ignore China's."

The Global Times called on Australia to:

1. Discuss the lifting of its Huawei 5G ban.

2. Engage in talks to lift its ban on Xinjiang products, which it branded "groundless".

3. Discuss tariffs under the China-Australia free trade agreement, in particular the 25 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations against Chinese products.

4. Allow its trade "pie" with China to remain detached from US relations.

Albanese making relationship 'harder to resolve'

Beijing has often warned Australia of interfering in "internal matters", including Chinese investment, the anonymity of Hong Kong, human rights abuse allegations in Xinjiang and China's push to unify Taiwan.

The Global Times said such concerns from Canberra had been the "crux of the difficulties" surrounding trade.

"It is not surprising that the two sides have different views on some issues, but Australia must be pragmatic on economic and trade issues," it said.

"The so-called human rights, democracy and security issues cannot be used to disrupt normal economic and trade."

In the wake of Mr Wang's demands, Mr Albanese, who has maintained a robust stance on China since taking office, warned Australia would not kowtow to Beijing.

"Look, Australia doesn't respond to demands. We respond to our own national interests," he said.

The Global Times said such a "complicated" position from Mr Albanese will "only make it harder to resolve" trade issues.

Mr Wang had laid blame for the difficulties on the Morrison government, and called for the Albanese government to "seize the opportunity".

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