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Australia trade minister 'pleased' with China talks

STORY: Farrell's visit to the Chinese capital, the first by an Australian trade minister since 2019, followed an easing of diplomatic tensions with the election of a new Labor government in mid-2022.

"I'm very pleased to confirm that we agreed to step up dialogue under our free trade agreement and other platforms to resolve our outstanding issues. We also discussed the World Trade Organization disputes," Farrell said at a press conference after the talks.

Australian wine, beef, barley, coal, seafood and timber exports to China were hit by trade curbs in 2020, and Australian journalist Cheng Lei was detained in Beijing on national security charges, after Australia called for an international inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, which angered Beijing.

Farrell also said he raised the consular cases of Cheng as well as detained Australian blogger Yang Hengjun with Wang.