Australian PM announces China visit later this year

Australia's prime minister has announced that he will visit Beijing later this year for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The visit would make him the first Australian prime minister to travel to China in 7 years.

Anthony Albanese met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Jakarta.

After the meeting, Albanese told reporters that they had held constructive discussions aimed at improving the bilateral relationship.

He said they discussed trade and consular cases as well as human rights and security issues.
Albanese then revealed the invitation from China's top leader.

He told Premier Li, "we will continue to cooperate where we can, disagree where we must and engage in our national interest."

Albanese had been widely tipped to visit China this year, having met with his Chinese counterpart, Xi, on the sidelines of last year's G20 meeting in Bali.

Relations between the two countries soured in 2020 after Australia called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.

Australia wants to resolve a number of issues including China's high tariffs on Australian wine and other products.