Australia wants more progress before PM visits China

·1-min read

Strained ties are easing but Australia wants to see more progress before the prime minister travels to China.

Anthony Albanese is expected to visit Beijing in coming months, with the opposition keen to know whether any conditions are attached.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said she was choosing her words carefully.

"We want to see continued progress and the most positive circumstances for any visit by the prime minister," she told a Senate hearing on Monday.

"This is an area of some sensitivity and an area where we seek to be bipartisan."

Opposition frontbencher Simon Birmingham said greater certainty was needed before the prime minister headed to China.

China slapped trade sanctions on $20 billion worth of Australian products at the height of a diplomatic spat in 2020.

Progress has been made on stabilising the relationship as trade restrictions are wound back, with Chinese import bans on timber removed and Australian coal shipments flowing more freely.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said he wanted to see all remaining trade blocks lifted.