/ 21 March 2024

Panda diplomacy

Penny Wong and Wang Yi
A bilateral meeting between Senator the Honourable Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Wang Yi, Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, China. Director Wang attended ASEAN in place of Qin Gang, Minister of Foreign Affairs China, who was unable to attend due to health reasons. Minister Wong attended the annual ASEAN-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and ASEAN Regional Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia, 11-14 July, 2023. Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta July 13, 2023

It’s great to have a good interaction with a counterpart, and yesterday Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong was said to have the warm fuzzies following yesterday’s diplomatic talks with China’s Wang Yi. Reports say she’s feeling optimistic that the pair have built a “good rapport”… The meeting took place behind closed doors, but Wong says Aussie writer/democracy activist Dr Yang Hengjun – who’s currently detained in China – was discussed, and she voiced Australians’ shock at his suspended death sentence. Trade was also on the agenda, with China expected to lift its tariffs on Aussie wine this month. And in more signs that Oz-China relations are back on track, Chinese Premier Li Qiang is planning a visit later this year. Before you ask, Adelaide Zoo’s pandas on loan from China are tipped to stay put

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