Chinese and Australian foreign ministers agree to promote economic cooperation

The foreign ministers of China and Australia have agreed to promote cooperation in areas including economy and trade.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met his Australian counterpart, Penny Wong, in Canberra on Wednesday.

At the bilateral foreign and strategic dialogue, Wong said Australia welcomes the progress in trade between the two countries, including on wine exports, and looks forward to the resolution of outstanding issues.

China's foreign ministry said in a statement that Wang spoke of the economies of China and Australia as being complementary and having great potential.

At a news conference that followed, Wong said arrangements are underway for Chinese Premier Li Qiang to visit Australia. Wang did not attend the news conference.

Wong expressed hope for the early removal of high tariffs imposed by China on Australian wine, without elaborating on the timetable.

She also said she raised Australia's concerns about human rights issues in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, while China's foreign ministry said Wang explained China's principled position on the issues.

Relations between China and Australia soured in 2020 over Australia's call for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.

But Australia has been moving to improve ties, mainly in the economic field, since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took office in 2022.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi also met Albanese on Wednesday.