Australian and Chinese leaders had a brief exchange at the 2019 G20 summit in Japan, but have not had a formal sitdown in five years.

We enter this discussion with goodwill. There are no preconditions on this discussion. I am looking forward to having constructive dialogue
Anthony Albanese, Australia prime minister

China remains Australia’s largest trading partner, but relations atrophied over disputes about Chinese influence and behaviour in the Asia-Pacific region -- and all but collapsed after Canberra called for an investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recently, Beijing’s ambitions in the Pacific have riled Canberra, as have China’s arrests of Australians, including journalist Cheng Lei.

But centre-left Albanese’s election appeared to provide an opportunity to break the impasse.

Ministerial-level contacts between Australia and China resumed in June after a two-year hiatus.

“Australia will put forward our own position. I look forward to having a constructive discussion with Xi tomorrow,” Albanese said.

“I have said since I have became prime minister but before then as well that dialogue is always a good thing. We need to talk in order to develop mutual understanding.”