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Albanese China trip: PM meets Xi Jinping in Beijing and hails diplomatic thaw
Prime minister says visit is about ‘taking forward’ Australia’s relationship, while Chinese president welcomes ‘joint effort’ to improve ties
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Anthony Albanese has declared that his landmark visit to Beijing was about “taking forward” Australia’s relationship with China, and he was committed to navigating differences “wisely and with great respect”.
Australia’s prime minister met Xi Jinping on Monday evening, his first meeting with the president on Chinese soil. Albanese told the president, and Zhao Leji, the chair of the National People’s Congress standing committee, that the five decades-long diplomatic relationship had brought benefits for both countries.
In his opening remarks, Xi told Albanese the relationship had now “embarked on the right path of improvement” he was “heartened” to see that a “healthy and stable China relationship” would serve the common interests of both nations.
China’s president said the normalisation of the diplomatic relationship reflected a “joint effort on both sides” to “work out some problems”.
“It is important we keep moving forward the strategic partnership between our two countries,” Xi told his guest.
Albanese told his host his aim was to have a relationship with Xi that enabled clear communication. “Where differences arise it is important that we have communication,” the prime minister said. “From communication comes understanding.”
“Trade is flowing more freely to the benefit of both countries ... and the tempo of bilateral visits is increasing,” Albanese said.
“I believe that we can all benefit from the greater understanding that comes from high-level dialogue and people links.”
Albanese was received warmly by his host at the seat of Chinese power – the Great Hall of the People in Beijing – after years of intense difficulty in the bilateral relationship, which spiralled into a trade war after the former prime minister Scott Morrison called for an inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic .
Albanese told journalists after the hour-long meeting that he had raised the plight of Australian writer and democracy activist Dr Yang Hengjun, who has been detained in China for four years. He confirmed Xi had raised China’s ambition to join a key regional trade pact, the CPTPP.
The prime minister also signalled the two countries were poised to resume an annual leader-level dialogue that has been suspended for a number of years. Albanese has also invited the president to visit Australia.
Before the pair’s meeting, Albanese stopped short of saying he trusted the Chinese president when asked the question by reporters.
During his recent state visit to Washington, the US president, Joe Biden, advised Australia’s prime minister to trust China “but verify” during this attempted rapprochement. This was in reference to a saying Ronald Reagan used in relation to America’s dealings with the Soviet Union on nuclear disarmament.
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Instead of using the word trust, Albanese said he and Xi were building a rapport. Albanese noted the two countries had different political systems but he said his interactions with the president suggested he was a man of his word.
“He has never said anything to me that has not been done,” Albanese said on Monday. “And that’s a positive way that you have to start off dealing with people.
“We recognise that we come from different political systems, very different values arising from that and very different histories, but we deal with each other on face value.
“My job is to represent Australia’s national interests and he is the leader of a different nation with different interests.”
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Albanese said his mantra was to “cooperate with China where we can, disagree where we must, and engage in our national interest”.
“I think there are promising signs,” Albanese said. “We have already seen a number of the impediments to trade between our two nations removed and an uplift already, a substantial uplift, in the trade between our two nations.”
Albanese said de-escalating the trade war with China meant more Australian jobs.
Asked what he would say to Australian mortgage holders ahead of another potential interest rate rise on Tuesday, Albanese said normalising the trade relationship had a positive impact on the economy and on inflation.
Albanese began his China visit in the country’s commercial capital, Shanghai, attending the country’s largest international trade expo on Saturday before arriving in Beijing on Sunday evening.
The prime minister started his day in Beijing with a tour of the Temple of Heaven – a site Gough Whitlam visited in 1973 when the former Labor prime minister visited the country to open diplomatic relations. Albanese was accompanied by the minister for foreign affairs, Penny Wong, who met China’s foreign minister on Monday afternoon in the capital while Albanese met Zhao ahead of his Xi talks.
Monday’s meeting with the president is Albanese’s second meeting with Xi. After efforts were made by Australia and China to reset the bilateral relationship after the federal election in 2022, the two met for the first time in the margins of the G20 summit in Bali in 2022.
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Putin to visit China to deepen 'no limits' partnership with Xi
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a signing ceremony following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 21, 2023. Sputnik/Mikhail Tereshchenko/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
- Putin travels to China to meet Xi
- Putin to attend Belt and Road Forum
- Putin's second visit outside former USSR since war
MOSCOW/BEIJING, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Xi Jinping in China this week in a bid to deepen a partnership forged between the United States' two biggest strategic competitors.
Putin will attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Oct. 17-18, his first trip outside the former Soviet Union since the Hague-based International Criminal Court issued a warrant for him in March over the deportation of children from Ukraine.
China and Russia declared a "no limits" partnership in February 2022 when Putin visited Beijing just days before he sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, triggering the deadliest land war in Europe since World War Two.
The United States casts China as its biggest competitor and Russia as its biggest nation-state threat while U.S. President Joe Biden argues that this century will be defined by an existential contest with between democracies and autocracies.
"Over the past decade, Xi has built with Putin's Russia the most consequential undeclared alliance in the world," Graham Allison, professor at Harvard University and a former assistant secretary of defense under Bill Clinton, told Reuters.
"The U.S. will have to come to grips with the inconvenient fact that a rapidly rising systemic rival and a revanchist one-dimensional superpower with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world are tightly aligned in opposing the USA."
Biden has referred to Xi as a "dictator" and has said Putin is a "killer" and a leader who cannot remain in power. Beijing and Moscow have scolded Biden for those remarks.
Since the Ukraine war, Putin has mostly stayed within the former Soviet Union, though he visited Iran last year for talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei .
Once the senior partner in the global Communist hierarchy, Russia three decades after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union is now considered a junior partner of a resurgent Communist China under Xi, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.
Putin and Xi share a broad world view, which sees the West as decadent and in decline just as China challenges U.S. supremacy in everything from quantum computing and synthetic biology to espionage and hard military power.
But Xi, who leads a $18 trillion economy, must balance close personal ties with Putin with the reality of dealing with the $27 trillion economy of the United States - still the world's strongest military power, and the richest.
The United States has warned China against supplying Putin with weapons as Russia, a $2 trillion economy, battles Ukrainian forces backed by the United States and the European Union.
Alexander Gabuev, director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, said the optics of the Ukraine war made big public deals unlikely right now.
"Putin is definitely guest of honour," Gabuev said, adding that military and nuclear cooperation would be discussed.
"At the same time I think China is not interested in signing any additional deals at least in public, because anything that can be portrayed as providing additional cash flow to Putin’s war chest and Putin’s war machine is not good at this point."
Adding to the complexity of military cooperation is uncertainty over the fate of Defence Minister Li Shangfu, who has not been seen in public for more than six weeks.
The heads of Russian energy giants Gazprom (GAZP.MM) and Rosneft (ROSN.MM) , Alexei Miller and Igor Sechin , will join Putin's retinue during his visit, sources familiar with the plans have told Reuters.
Russia wants to secure a deal to sell more natural gas to China and plans to build the Power of Siberia-2 pipeline, which would traverse Mongolia and have an annual capacity of 50 billion cubic metres (bcm).
It is unclear if the gas deal - particularly the price and the cost of building it - will be agreed.
Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Alison Williams
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
As Moscow bureau chief, Guy runs coverage of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Before Moscow, Guy ran Brexit coverage as London bureau chief (2012-2022). On the night of Brexit, his team delivered one of Reuters historic wins - reporting news of Brexit first to the world and the financial markets. Guy graduated from the London School of Economics and started his career as an intern at Bloomberg. He has spent over 14 years covering the former Soviet Union. He speaks fluent Russian. Contact: +447825218698
Laurie Chen is a China Correspondent at Reuters' Beijing bureau, covering politics and general news. Before joining Reuters, she reported on China for six years at Agence France-Presse and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. She speaks fluent Mandarin.
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Putin Visits China to Bolster Ties With ‘My Friend,’ Xi
The Russian leader is likely to push for more economic support when he meets with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing.
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By David Pierson , Anatoly Kurmanaev and Keith Bradsher
When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia meets with China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, during a visit to Beijing this week, both men will likely seek to demonstrate the strength of their “no limits” partnership in challenging the Western-dominated global order.
The visit comes at a time of turmoil in the Middle East after Hamas’s attack on Israel this month, which has led to Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and expectations of a ground invasion. Both Russia and China have refrained from following the lead of Western countries by condemning Hamas directly.
Instead, the two countries have called for an end to the violence and a revival of talks about a Palestinian state. China’s foreign minister this weekend accused Israel of going too far in its reprisals in Gaza, echoing an earlier denunciation by Egypt. And Mr. Putin urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, during a phone call on Monday, to “avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.”
The Chinese and Russian alignment over the Israel-Hamas conflict reflects their geopolitical ambitions. Both countries have tried to cast themselves as leaders of the developing world, partly to bolster their standing with the oil-rich Arab world. They have also reinforced their own relationship over a common interest in eroding American global power.
Mr. Putin’s visit highlights Moscow’s dependence on China for support as his war in Ukraine, which has led to international sanctions on Russia, grinds toward a stalemate. Mr. Xi is Mr. Putin’s most important partner on the global stage and has provided the Russian leader with diplomatic cover and a financial lifeline after Western-led countries punished Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
“Chairman Xi Jinping calls me his friend, and I call him my friend,” Mr. Putin told Chinese state media ahead of his Beijing visit.
Mr. Putin arrived in Beijing on Tuesday to attend the Belt and Road Forum , a meeting about Mr. Xi’s signature foreign policy initiative aimed at using infrastructure projects to expand China’s influence abroad.
The trip is only Mr. Putin’s second outside Russia since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest on suspicion of war crimes in March. Mr. Putin traveled to Kyrgyzstan last week to participate in a summit of former Soviet states. Last month, he skipped a gathering of the BRICS nations in South Africa and the Group of 20 summit in India.
In China, the Kremlin said, Mr. Putin will join Mr. Xi on Wednesday for meetings accompanied by ministers. The two men will also meet one-on-one.
Among Mr. Putin’s top priorities is the proposed Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, which would help redirect Russian gas supplies that had gone to Europe toward China instead. It is unclear how much Beijing supports the project, which requires constructing a pipeline through Mongolia.
Completing a deal is further complicated by the conflict between Israel and Hamas, which could have unpredictable effects on the Middle East and affect the global price of natural gas. “There are just too many uncertainties,” to figure out a pricing deal now, said Yan Qin, the lead energy analyst for the London Stock Exchange Group.
Trade between China and Russia has grown 30 percent in the first nine months of the year, and total business in 2023 is expected to break last year’s record of $190 billion. More than a third of all Russian oil exports now go to China, providing the Kremlin with a crucial source of war funding. The fighting appears to be settling into a prolonged war of attrition, with military experts saying that both sides face decreasing prospects of delivering a decisive blow that could bring about an end.
For China, the status quo suits its interests. The stabilization of the front lines in Ukraine means that Beijing does not need to dramatically intervene on Russia’s side to prevent a military defeat that could shake Mr. Putin’s grip on power. And the drawn-out, inconclusive war leaves Russia economically and diplomatically dependent on China and too distracted to counter Beijing in areas where their geopolitical interests overlap, such as Central Asia.
“China is not ready to throw Russia under the bus,” said Alexander Gabuev, director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center.
China, for its part, has stepped in to fill the gap left by Western companies in Russia’s consumer market. One of every two cars sold in Russia today, for example, comes from China. Before the war, Chinese car sales to Russia were negligible.
Though China remains the senior partner in the relationship, the weak recovery of China’s economy from the pandemic has somewhat improved Russia’s bargaining position since the two leaders last met, in Moscow in March, Mr. Gabuev said.
Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin declared a “no limits” partnership just weeks before Moscow’s invasion, to signal their alignment in opposing what they call U.S. hegemony. While that alignment still holds, China has had to hedge its relationship with Russia to manage its ties with important trading partners, such as the European Union.
China has tried to cast itself as neutral on the war, which has entered its 21st month. Earlier this year, Beijing issued a proposed political settlement to end the fighting, though the plan was criticized by Washington and some of its allies for protecting Russian interests.
Russia has also tried to demonstrate that it has autonomy in its relationship with China. Mr. Putin hosted North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in Russia last month — a move seen as a hedge by Moscow against Beijing.
State-affiliated Chinese analysts argue that Beijing seeks to maintain an image of independence on the global stage. “It has become very clear that China does not want to stand on the same side completely with Russia on all issues,” said Xiao Bin, a researcher for the Institute of Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “China has its own practical problems to solve.”
For China, the war in Ukraine has given it access to discounted Russian oil and diverted American resources — both financial and military — away from China’s periphery in Asia. But the war has also galvanized more global concern about Beijing’s aggressive claims over the de facto independent island of Taiwan. China’s support of Russia has also roiled its relations with Europe, a region Beijing had hoped to court to weaken trans-Atlantic unity on issues like trade and investment restrictions directed at China.
This week’s meeting between Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin comes as Beijing and Washington are working toward arresting a downward spiral in relations. But analysts say China’s long-term interests still favor close ties with Russia.
“The bromance is going strong, and in essence remains unaffected by the thaw in U.S.-China relations,” Yun Sun, director of the China program at the Stimson Center in Washington, said about Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin. “China clearly doesn’t believe in the sustainability of such a thaw, so Russia remains a key partner” in countering the United States.
Ms. Sun said China was currently focused on improving ties with the United States and may offer to help ease the Gaza crisis if it means gaining some leverage over Washington.
“On a strategic level, China is competing for influence in the Middle East,” she said. “But on a tactical level and in the short run, the Chinese would love it if the U.S. asked for help.”
Olivia Wang contributed reporting.
David Pierson covers Chinese foreign policy and China’s economic and cultural engagement with the world. More about David Pierson
Anatoly Kurmanaev is a foreign correspondent covering Russia’s transformation after its invasion of Ukraine. More about Anatoly Kurmanaev
Keith Bradsher is the Beijing bureau chief for The Times. He previously served as bureau chief in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Detroit and as a Washington correspondent. He has lived and reported in mainland China through the pandemic. More about Keith Bradsher
Our Coverage of the War in Ukraine
The Future of Ukraine : The European Union and NATO have promised a path to membership for the country . But real partnership will hold risks and benefits .
Photos : Photographers with The New York Times and other news organizations have been chronicling the war , capturing a slice of how soldiers and civilians have experienced it. Our photographers say some images will never leave them .
Defying Isolation: After the invasion of Ukraine, the West tried to cut Russia off from the rest of the world. But wealthy Russians continue to rely on a network of middlemen to circumvent the restrictions .
A Wartime Partnership: The alliance between President Biden and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has become critical to the world order .
Zelensky’s Rise: The Ukrainian president, once brushed off as a political lightweight, has become a household name , representing his country’s tenacity.
How We Verify Our Reporting
Our team of visual journalists analyzes satellite images, photographs , videos and radio transmissions to independently confirm troop movements and other details.
We monitor and authenticate reports on social media, corroborating these with eyewitness accounts and interviews. Read more about our reporting efforts .
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President Xi Jinping Meets with Delegation of U.S. Senate Led by Majority Leader Charles Schumer
On the afternoon of October 9, President Xi Jinping met with the bipartisan delegation of the U.S. Senate led by Majority Leader Charles Schumer at the Great Hall of the People.
President Xi underlined that the China-U.S. relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world. How China and the U.S. get along will determine the future of humanity. Competition and confrontation is not consistent with the trend of the times. Still less can it fix one’s own problems and address the challenges facing the world. China maintains that the common interests of the two countries far outweigh their differences, and the respective success of China and the U.S. is an opportunity, rather than a challenge, to each other. The “Thucydides Trap” is not inevitable, and Planet Earth is vast enough to accommodate the respective development and common prosperity of China and the U.S. Given the high degree of integration between the Chinese and U.S. economies and their closely entwined interests, both countries stand to benefit from each other’s development. A post-pandemic global recovery, meeting the climate challenge and resolving international and regional hotspots all require China-U.S. coordination and cooperation. As two major countries, China and the U.S. should demonstrate the broadmindedness, vision and readiness to rise to the occasion expected by the international community, and act with a sense of responsibility to history, to the people and to the world. The two countries should properly handle their relations, respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue win-win cooperation. They should work to increase the well-being of the two peoples, and contribute to human progress and world peace and development.
President Xi pointed out that the Chinese civilization has been developing uninterrupted for more than 5,000 years. It has all along striven to stay abreast with the times, learned from others in the spirit of inclusiveness, and kept to a philosophy of peace that highlights cooperation and exchanges. China has achieved the twin miracles of rapid economic development and long-term social stability, ended absolute poverty once and for all, and built a moderately prosperous society in all respects. These achievements are possible because the country has found a development path that suits its national conditions, meets the people’s expectations and has the people’s support. China will keep to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and advance Chinese modernization on all fronts. It will stay committed to peaceful development and work with all countries across the world to build a community with a shared future for mankind. China welcomes the visits of more U.S. Congress members to gain a better understanding of China’s past, present and future. It is hoped that the two legislatures will have more interactions, dialogues and exchanges to increase mutual understanding and make a positive contribution to the stabilization and improvement of the China-U.S. relationship.
Senator Schumer and other members of the delegation expressed their delight to visit the beautiful country of China and their appreciation to the Chinese side for its hospitality. During the visit, they have felt the vigor and potential of China’s development. They shared their views and suggestions on relevant issues in China-U.S. relations, noting that a stable U.S.-China relationship is of vital importance not only to the two countries, but also to world peace and development. China’s development and prosperity is good for the American people. The U.S. side does not seek a conflict with China, nor does it seek to decouple. The U.S. is willing to enhance dialogue and communication with China in an open and candid manner based on mutual respect, responsibly manage the bilateral relationship, and stabilize and strengthen U.S.-China relations. The U.S. side looks forward to strengthening bilateral trade and investment cooperation with China, and increasing communication and cooperation on such issues as climate change, drug trafficking and regional conflicts.
Wang Yi was present at the meeting.
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California Gov. Newsom has surprise meeting with China’s leader Xi amid warm welcome in Beijing
In this photo taken Wednesday, Oct 25, 2023, and released by Office of the Governor of California , California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Office of the Governor of California via AP)
In this photo taken Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023 and released by Office of the Governor of California, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Office of the Governor of California via AP)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, center left, meets with Chinese Vice President Han Zheng at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. California Gov. Newsom also met with China’s senior most diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday and displayed a brief moment of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the U.S. and China in recent years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a press conference in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. California Gov. Newsom had a surprise meeting with China’s leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday after being warmly welcomed by other senior leaders in a display of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the United States and China in recent years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Newsom opened a weeklong trip to China with an assurance that his state will always be a partner on climate issues no matter how the U.S. presidential election turns out next year. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, shakes hands with Zheng Shanjie, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, after they signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Newsom also met with China’s senior most diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday and displayed a brief moment of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the U.S. and China in recent years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, right, meets with Zheng Shanjie, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, unseen, in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Newsom also met with China’s senior most diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday and displayed a brief moment of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the U.S. and China in recent years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, shakes hands with Zheng Shanjie, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Newsom also met with China’s senior most diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday and displayed a brief moment of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the U.S. and China in recent years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, second from left, listens as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, third from right, speaks during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Newsom opened a weeklong trip to China with an assurance that his state will always be a partner on climate issues no matter how the U.S. presidential election turns out next year. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom prepares to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Zheng Shanjie, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, not in photo, in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. California Gov. Newsom also met with China’s senior most diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday and displayed a brief moment of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the U.S. and China in recent years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom meets with Zheng Shanjie, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, unseen, in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Newsom also met with China’s senior most diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday and displayed a brief moment of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the U.S. and China in recent years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, second from right, attends a meeting with Zheng Shanjie, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, second from left, in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Newsom also met with China’s senior most diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday and displayed a brief moment of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the U.S. and China in recent years. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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BANGKOK (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom had a surprise meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday after being warmly welcomed by other senior leaders in a display of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the United States and China in recent years.
The governor is on a weeklong tour of China, where he plans to push for climate cooperation. Newsom’s trip as governor, once considered routine, is drawing attention as it comes after years of heightening tensions between the U.S. and China.
“I’m here in expectation, as you suggest, of turning the page, of renewing our friendship and reengaging (on) foundational and fundamental issues that will determine our collective faith in the future,” Newsom said in brief opening remarks ahead of his meeting with Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, earlier in the day.
Though Newsom was in China to promote cooperation in curbing climate change , Chinese officials took the opportunity in welcome speeches ahead of the closed-door meetings to talk about U.S.-China relations . Wang is preparing to visit the U.S. on Thursday.
Newsom and Xi discussed ways to “accelerate our progress on climate in meaningful and substantive ways,” the California governor said at a news conference, but did not mention more specifics.
They also talked about fentanyl, a synthetic drug and leading killer of young people in the U.S., and China’s role in combating the transnational shipping of precursor chemicals, Newsom said.
According to China’s state broadcaster CCTV, Xi told Newsom: “I hope your visit will enhance mutual understanding between the two sides and play a positive role in expanding cooperation between China and California and promoting the healthy and stable development of Sino-U.S. relations.”
Xi may attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco next month and meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, although China has not formally confirmed his attendance.
Newsom is visiting Hong Kong , Beijing, Shanghai and the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu. At a speech at Hong Kong University on Monday, he promised to continue to cooperate on climate change regardless of the outcome of the next U.S. presidential election.
He said he raised human rights issues with Wang and the two also discussed Taiwan, a red-line issue for Beijing. China claims the self-ruled island as part of its own territory.
“I expressed my support for the One-China policy ... as well as our desire not to see independence,” Newsom said, referring to the official U.S. policy that recognizes the Communist Party as the ruling government of China. Officially, the U.S. does not recognize Taiwan but is its biggest unofficial ally.
Wang, the head of the Communist Party’s office of foreign affairs, said he knows Newsom’s trip attracted plenty of critics but that he views the trip positively.
“But I think time and facts will certainly prove that your visit to China is in line with California people’s wishes and in line with the American people’s interests and the expectations of the global society.”
Newsom also met Wednesday with Vice President Han Zheng, who greeted him with a wide smile and called him an “old friend.” Han is a past member of the Politburo Standing Committee, an elite group of leaders within the party.
“The China-U.S. relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and the sub-national cooperation is an indispensable part to facilitate the sound and steady growth of China-U.S. relations,” Han said. “I’m sure your weeklong trip will inject positive energy to the development of the China-U.S. relationship.”
The governor met as well with the head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, a Cabinet-level agency responsible for economic policies. They signed a memorandum on deepening cooperation in environmental issues.
Governors of California, which has an economy larger than most countries, have a long history of climate collaboration with China. Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger also traveled to China to swap knowledge on reducing air pollution and emissions.
Since leaving office, Brown launched the California-China Climate Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin visits ‘dear friend’ Xi Jinping in China
Putin is attending China’s Belt and Road summit for a third time but the meeting could be overshadowed by wars.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Beijing ahead of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.
Xi invited his “dear friend” Putin to China’s third Belt and Road Initiative forum where the leaders of 130 countries will discuss one of Xi’s signature international projects.
China prepares for belt and road summit in shadow of israel-gaza war, n korea’s kim wishes russia’s putin victory against ‘imperialists’, russia’s putin makes rare visit to kyrgyzstan despite icc arrest warrant.
But the meeting’s theme is likely to be overshadowed by the Israel-Hamas war as well as Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine .
China is one of the first countries Putin has visited since the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him in March, accusing the Russian leader of illegally deporting children from Ukraine.
China is not one of the 123 countries that are members of the ICC, so it is not obliged to transfer Putin to The Hague for trial.
Earlier this month, Putin visited Kyrgyzstan but China is the first outside of former Soviet republic countries he has visited this year. Kyrgyzstan is also not an ICC member.
Beijing has rejected Western criticism of its partnership with Moscow even as the war in Ukraine continues, insisting that their ties do not violate international norms and that China has the right to collaborate with whichever country it chooses.
Trade between neighbouring China and Russia has been soaring since Moscow began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, with Beijing importing Russian oil after other countries placed sanctions on Russian imports.
In an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CGTN ahead of his visit this week, Putin said that a “multipolar world is taking shape, and the concepts and initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping are highly relevant and significant”, CGTN reported.
Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov has arrived in Beijing ahead of Putin and held talks with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday.
Xi and Putin last met in Russia in March this year. Speaking at the Kremlin during that visit, Xi told Putin, “Right now there are changes – the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years – and we are the ones driving these changes together.”
Putin last visited China for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022 when Russia and China released a sweeping 5,000-word statement reaffirming their no-limits relationship – days before the Russian president sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine.
It is the third time Putin has attended the Belt and Road forum, which continues until Wednesday. He attended the two previous meetings in 2017 and 2019.
Putin has also accepted an invitation from leader Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea after the two presidents met in Russia last month.
Russia’s foreign ministry has already confirmed that Lavrov will visit Pyongyang after leaving Beijing.
Albanese's visit to China offers propaganda for Xi Jinping as Beijing seeks to mend western ties
analysis Albanese's visit to China offers propaganda for Xi Jinping as Beijing seeks to mend western ties
Remember how Bob Hawke broke down in tears while reading heart-rending details from a diplomatic telegram about the Tiananmen massacre in Beijing?
In that moment, on June 9, 1989, the honeymoon in the early history of Australia-China relations ended.
Hawke cancelled a planned visit to China and halted military cooperation with Beijing indefinitely.
The human-rights crisis also triggered the West to propose sanctions against Beijing.
It seems the world was as confused then by China as it is today.
There was a China committed to embracing political reform and economic development, but there was another China that killed its citizens who had joined the pro-democracy movement.
For years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, no Western leaders wanted to visit Beijing.
Australians did not see an official visit to China by Hawke's successor, Paul Keating, until four years later.
The larger fallout from the massacre lasted nearly a decade, ending with a visit by the then-president of the United States, Bill Clinton.
Tomorrow, Anthony Albanese will be the first Australian prime minister to set foot on Chinese soil for the first time in almost seven years.
We are sure about one thing — like Keating's visit to China 30 years ago, relations between the two countries are about to thaw after a six-year diplomatic freeze.
For Beijing, Albanese's visit is the perfect opportunity to turn around and improve Xi Jinping's — and China's — image.
Why is this visit so important for Xi?
The world has changed drastically in the wake of the three-year-long COVID-19 pandemic.
Xi's decision to appoint himself president for life has once again underscored the fundamental differences between Chinese and Western values.
This is particularly evident in concerns over human rights in Xinjiang and stringent measures related to COVID-19.
But Beijing wants to show the world that conflicts that have been building up for years can be defused, and that disagreements can be set aside, as they were after 1989.
Albanese's visit will undoubtedly become part of China's domestic political propaganda — especially after years of trade disputes and a dialogue freeze at the highest levels.
Xi needs a win.
The huge downturn in China's economy has left Chinese of all classes questioning Xi's ruling ability.
From capitalists to labourers, many Chinese lost hope for the country's economic prosperity and political reform under Xi's signature COVID-zero policy.
Xi calls China "the great power", but to demonstrate his strength to the public, he needs a middle power like Australia to come knocking on Beijing's door.
Albanese's visit as a leader of a developed Western country may give the impression that China and the West can work together.
This not only solidifies the legitimacy of Xi's rule, but potentially provides an important piece of the puzzle as Xi continues to advance his global strategy.
Like Australia-China relations, Beijing's relations with Washington, London and Ottawa have all hit rock bottom in the last few years.
Xi seems to be taking a new approach to repairing his party's relations with the West.
In recent years, Beijing has stepped up its defence operations in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, prompting many China-watchers to keep a close eye on any military developments.
Darwin is Australia's closest port to the South China Sea, and it is also where a large contingent of US Marines are stationed.
The release of Australian journalist Cheng Lei came not long before the Albanese government allowed Chinese company Landbridge to continue leasing the Darwin Port.
"Beijing wants to show the Western world — as well as ASEAN countries — that they can do business with China and that the 'China threat' syndrome is misplaced," said Professor Willy Lam, author of Xi Jinping: The Hidden Agendas of China's Ruler for Life.
"The revival of regular commerce between the two giants will please huge sectors in Australia, particularly the mining and agricultural communities.
"Despite what Canberra has agreed with Washington, Beijing could disrupt peace in the Indo-Pacific Region through its aggressive posture in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea."
It's only just begun
In China's eyes, Australia's diplomatic value is as important as its natural resources and business.
As Xi himself has said: "There has never been a fundamental conflict of interest between China and Australia."
It is no coincidence that China has used Australia as a stepping stone for repairing relations with the West — as it did after the 1989 massacre and continues to do today.
Xi wants to reconnect with the West, including the more complex US-China relationship.
External and internal troubles have weakened Xi's support within the party.
While he vowed to lead the Chinese people to prosperity, China is facing its worst wave of unemployment since its economic take-off.
Under Xi's rule, China has been backsliding on reform and liberalisation, and its foreign relations are at an impasse.
But Xi is still proving that he is at the centre and can turn things around.
He wants to be seen as dominating international relations and helping with regional stability, and to show Australians that repairing diplomatic relations with the new government is up to him — not Australian leadership.
"Prior to this trip, we saw progress on many of the frictions leftover from the Morrison years," said China Matters inaugural fellow Jiang Yun.
"It is [also] a symbol of Albanese's successful effort to stabilise Australia's relationship with China."
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