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

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Rod Mcguirk

Canberra, Australia (AP) — Australia was the “first shot” in worsening relations with China four years ago when the government banned it at the time. Fired. China's ambassador said Friday that China-owned telecommunications giant Huawei refused to deploy its 5G network due to security concerns.

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

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

Bilateral relations plummeted in early 2020 after the previous Australian government called for an independent investigation into the cause and response 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.

Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe held an hour-long meeting with Australia's Richard Mars at the Regional Security Summit in Singapore this month. .. Between two countries in more than two years.

Albaniji acknowledges the improvement of bilateral relations, but as a goodwill gesture, demands that China lift a series of formal and informal sanctions on Australia's exports.

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

Mr Xiao said there is still time to repair the relationship so that the two countries can celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations on December 21st.

"Personally, I'm still optimistic," Xiao said.