Chinese envoy says Australia fired its first shot with Huawei’s ban

Canberra, Australia (AP) — Australia fired a “first shot” four years ago when the government at the time worsened relations with China. China-owned telecommunications giant Huawei banned The Chinese ambassador said on Friday that security concerns have refrained from deploying the country’s 5G network.

Xiao Chien, the Chinese Ambassador to Australia since January, gave a rare performance at the University of Sydney, which was repeatedly thwarted by human rights opponents.

The speech was given as China showed signs of lifting the diplomatic freeze on Australian ministers after the new elections last month.

Bilateral relations plummeted in early 2020 after the former Australian government Asked for an independent investigation About the origin and correspondence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Xiao emphasized the government’s 2018 decision to block Huawei from Australia’s 5G deployment as a turning point in the relationship.

“It can probably be described as the first shot that really hurt our normal business relationships,” Xiao said.

China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang wrote to congratulate Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with a gesture that appears to be trying to reset relations a few days after winning the election.

China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met with Australia’s Richard Mars for an hour beside the Regional Security Summit in Singapore this month. First ministerial meeting between the two countries In more than 2 years.

Albaniji has acknowledged improved bilateral relations, but has urged China to lift a series of formal and informal sanctions on Australia’s exports as a gesture of goodwill.

“China has already made some improvements, but there is still a long way to go. That will be a problematic relationship,” Albaniji told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday.

Prime Minister Xiao said there is still time for the two countries to restore their relations so that they can celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on December 21st.

“Personally, I’m still optimistic,” Xiao said.

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