On May 24th, following the election win of the Australian Labor Party and the subsequent win of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sent a congratulatory note to his Australian counterpart in an apparent move to end a year-long freeze in diplomatic contact and an improvement of diplomatic relations since 2020.

This signals to the international community that China and Australia are taking different approaches to solving their diplomatic problems. The only question is, is it going to work?

A Brief History

China had cut off both diplomatic and trade relationships with Australia in 2021 due to their political issues that quickly burned through what remained of their diplomatic ties. However, as early as 2016, Australia emerged as one of China’s opponents to its territorial conquests in the South China Sea, firmly upholding the Philippines’ arbitration case win regarding the historical claims of China on the disputed islands, specifically the 9-dash line it tried to enforce.

A year later, Australia would pass the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme amid a series of political scandals involving the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party was allegedly trying to influence Australian politics, which would lead 72% of the Australian public to state that the Australian government is allowing too much investment from China based on a Lowy Institute poll.