Penny Wong talks ‘blocks’ on trade with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of UN General Assembly

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has again urged Beijing to lift sanctions against Australia during a meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in New York.

Senator Wong used her comments at the start of the discussion to raise the prospects of clean energy cooperation between the two countries, while warning of “blockades” imposed by China.

“Trade has been the platform from which the People’s Republic of China has made historic achievements in poverty alleviation,” she told Mr. Wang.

“Indeed, open, rules-based trade within the international system has supported the economic development of both our countries.

“We both have a lot to lose from the disintegration of that system. And we both have a lot to gain from direct and productive engagement.”

Though brief, Senator Wong described the meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as “constructive”.

It is the second time the two ministers have met face-to-face in 12 weeks, following a hiatus in high-level contacts between Australia and China for more than two years.

“I think it’s a long road in which many steps will have to be taken by both sides towards a more stable relationship,” Senator Wong told reporters afterwards.

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