Australia's new Labor govt says China relations to remain challenging

Anthony Albane, Prime Minister of Australiase,

© APA | Anthony Albane, Prime Minister of Australiase,

# 24 May 2022 04:50 (UTC +04:00)

Australia's relations with China will remain challenging, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said on Tuesday amid reports the Chinese premier had congratulated the new Labor government on its weekend election victory, APA reports citing Reuters.

Ties between Australia and China, its largest trading partner, are at a low ebb after they clashed over a number of issues including trade, the origins of the novel coronavirus and accusations from Australia of Chinese political interference.

"From an Australian point of view, we understand the complexity of the relationship ... but China is seeking to shape the world around it in ways we have not seen before," Marles told ABC television.

"All of that I think is going to make it a pretty challenging pathway forward."

The Quad is an informal security grouping seen in Beijing as an attempt to counter China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

A Xinhua report said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday sent a congratulatory message to Albanese over his election win, possibly ending a two-year Chinese diplomatic freeze of Australia.

Marles said he was not aware of any communication from Beijing.