In the last three weeks, Beijing has strengthened ties with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and signed a truce with the Biden administration, recovering with Washington old security channels that had been broken for a long time. Xi Jinping’s Government rolled out the red carpet to the main leaders of developing countries to sell them that the new Silk Road would be greener (renewable energy projects) than ever. He also closed military collaboration agreements in a forum attended by around thirty defense ministers and military commanders. But, without a doubt, one of the most important goals that the Asian power has probably scored has been recover the relationship with one of your most annoying enemies in recent years: Australia.
After a walk through a major import fair in Shanghai, the australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, was in Beijing on Monday, where his Chinese counterpart was waiting for him. It had been seven years since an Australian leader had set foot in China. “The progress we have made in the progress of our relationship It has undoubtedly been very positive,” said Albanese as the meeting with Xi began in front of the cameras.
“The relationship has embarked on the right path of improvement and development. I am happy to see this. What China wants is mutual benefit,” said the Chinese leader in a meeting held in the Great Hall of the Peoplethe chamber located in Tianamen Square, in the heart of Beijing. “A strong relationship between China and Australia will be beneficial in the future,” Albanese continued.
Relations between the two countries were at the lowest point in decades. Frictions spiked early in the pandemic, when Conservative Scott Morrison, Albanese’s predecessor, became one of the great scourges international relations of the Chinese regime. Morrison insisted on an independent investigation into the Covid outbreak in the city of Wuhan; he banned Huawei’s 5G network; toaccused the Chinese army of intimidating other countries over claims in the disputed South China Sea and sneaking spies into Australia to influence its domestic politics.
Beijing, furious about all this, responded by attacking where it hurt the most in the middle of the pandemic, the economy. He unleashed a trade war against Canberra, with a wave of sanctions and tariffs against many products (coal, wine, beef, barley or lobsters), further stretching the trade imbalance between both countries thanks to economic coercion. Especially significant was the case of Australian wine.