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Anthony Albanese’s upcoming trip to China will pose a “major test” for the prime minister to improve bilateral relations, Chinese state-back tabloid The Global Times wrote on Friday.

In just over a week’s time, the Prime Minister will make a highly anticipated trip to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

It is the first time in seven years that an Australian prime minister has visited China and represents the culmination of the Albanese government’s efforts to stabilise the bilateral relationship.

But the trip follows a whirlwind state visit to the US by Mr Albanese, which focused on the deepening military ties, particularly through the exchange of critical minerals, which The Global Times branded as an attempt by the US to “drive a wedge between China and Australia”.

In the editorial entitled ‘Australia’s understanding of China ties should not be hijacked by US cliches’, the tabloid warns that a deepening partnership between Australia and a “selfish” US risks derailing the inroads made to improve the relationship with China.

Cautioning against increased military co-operation with the US, it argues that Australia would hand control over to its ally should their partnership deepen.

“The US aims to control the arms market of the two countries by selling them arms, and the more shares the US has in their arms market, the more control the US holds over the two countries,” it reads.

However, The Global Times says given the Albanese government’s efforts thus have paid dividends and the chance of a change in direction is low.

“While the US lacks fresh ideas when wooing Australia to confront China, Australia does not want to provoke China ahead of Albanese’s visit and it is unlikely that the pragmatic China policy adopted by the Albanese government will change any time soon.”

The editorial implores Albanese to realise that “normal” bilateral relations serve Australia’s interests.

“China is an irreplaceable market for Australia, and the US will not make up for the Chinese market Australia might lose due to worsened relations with China,” the editorial says.

“Australia should have a clear understanding of the significance of its relations with China and avoid being hijacked by the US to maximise its interests.”

Mr Albanese’s trip to China comes after Australian diplomats secured the release of Australian journalist Cheng Lei earlier this month.

Ms Lei had been imprisoned in China for three years for allegedly breaching an embargo on a government briefing by a few minutes.

Beijing has also begun dismantling the last remaining trade sanctions levelled against Australia after its government agreed to a five-month review tariffs on local wine.

Mr Albanese will be in China from November 4-7. He will meet with President Xi and Premier Li Qiang. In Shanghai, the Prime Minister will attend the China International Import Expo

Read related topics:Anthony AlbaneseChina

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