Anthony Albanese has been given a surprising new nickname by adoring Chinese fans
Anthony Albanese has picked up an unusual nickname from adoring fans in China.
The prime minister visited Beijing on Monday to hold talks with President Xi Jinping, signaling a major thaw in the two nations’ frosty relationship.
Australia and China will also resume annual leaders’ meetings after a successful meeting between the prime minister and China’s second-in-command, Premier Li Qiang.
Prime Minister Li announced the resumption of regular talks after a meeting with Albanese on Tuesday.
Mr Albanese had previously indicated he would ask Prime Minister Li to resume the annual dialogue, which collapsed due to disputes between China and the former government over the origins of Covid-19.
The last official annual leaders meeting took place in November 2019, when Scott Morrison met Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Bangkok.
Anthony Albanese met Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang during his visit to China where locals called him the handsome boy who came from Australia
Mr Albanese also turned heads in his Matildas World Cup jersey while walking in Shanghai
Albanese was greeted along with hundreds of military personnel for an elaborate ceremonial welcome ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Li on Tuesday.
The Chinese leader told reporters he considered Albanese an “old friend” after meeting him four times in the past year.
He said Mr Albanese’s visit circulated widely on Chinese social media, including a video of the prime minister wearing a yellow jersey, which caught the attention of local residents.
“People said there is a handsome boy coming from Australia,” Prime Minister Li told reporters.
Mr Albanese said he welcomed the return to leadership talks, but also indicated he would continue to press China to drop its remaining trade bans on Australian exports.
“Our proximity, economic complementarity and close people-to-people ties make us important partners now and in the future,” he said.
“That is why the full resumption of free and unimpeded trade between our two countries is so important.”
Mr Albanese (right) was ceremonially welcomed by Chinese Premier Li Qiang (left) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
The resumption of leadership talks followed an hour-long meeting between Mr Albanese and President Xi Jinping on Monday, which marked the first visit by an Australian prime minister to China in seven years.
Mr Albanese called the meeting “very successful” with both leaders discussing human rights, the escalation of threats against Taiwan and trade sanctions.
The Prime Minister will fly out of China on Tuesday evening, ending his three-day visit.