China’s ambassador to Australia meets Penny Wong to discuss bilateral relations

By Melissa Coade

Monday March 21, 2022

Penny Wong
Penny Wong met Xiao Qian, Beijing’s new ambassador in Canberra, at parliament house last week. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Xiao Qian, Beijing’s new ambassador in Canberra, visited parliament house last week to meet with Labor’s ​​shadow minister for foreign affairs and discuss his country’s basic positions on the China-Australia relations.

According to a statement by the Chinese Embassy, a meeting between Wong and Xiao on Wednesday included an exchange of views on relevant international issues. 

Ambassador Xiao also underscored the ‘tangible benefits’ of the close cooperation China and Australia had maintained in various fields ever since the establishment of diplomatic ties 50 years ago.

“China’s policy towards Australia remains unchanged,” a statement from the embassy read.

“It is hoped that the two sides will work together to review the past and look into the future, adhere to the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and make joint efforts to push forward China-Australia relations along the right track.”

The statement said senator Wong welcomed Xiao in assuming his post in Australia. She also outlined the Labor Party’s views on relevant diplomatic issues regarding the China-Australia relationship.

“​​Shadow minister Wong hoped that the two sides would enhance engagement and dialogue,” the embassy said. 

In a statement backing the decision not to send Australian officials and dignitaries to the Beijing Winter Olympics last year, Wong expressed the Labor party’s ‘deep concerns about ongoing human rights abuses in China’. She said the treatment of Uyghurs and other religious minorities in China was a sticking point for Labor and urged China to behave more like a responsible global power.


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