This picture highlighted one of Australia’s best relations with international leaders at the time, now it shows how far it has collapsed.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan are waving as they prepare to leave Sydney.
Little did anyone know at the time how much would change, with the current situation the Chinese government sees Rejects Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s claim that President Xi had an “open invitation” to resume political talks between the couple.
In 2014, however, President Xi visited Sydney following the G20 summit in Brisbane and the signing of a landmark trade agreement between Australia and China in Canberra.
When the then Prime Minister Tony Abbott waved goodbye, President Xi declared the visit “some remarkable days for our country’s life”.
In fact, the visit was so successful, in a farewell speech to President Xi, Abbott boldly stated: “Today, Team China is here to meet Team Australia.”
The FTA increased tariffs on resources and agriculture, with President Xi becoming only the second Chinese leader to address the federal parliament. His father, Xi Zhongxun, was the first in 1979.
“What we have achieved is unimaginable over two decades ago,” President Xi said at the time.
“My personal experience has given me the impression that earthquake changes have taken place in this relationship and what we have achieved is inconceivable two decades ago.
“I am really pleased with my visit and I am convinced that this visit will give a strong impetus to our bilateral relations.
In view of the gigantic trade agreement signed between the countries, Abbott claimed: “Not only did we sign a historic trade agreement, but President Xi delivered one of the most magnificent speeches ever heard in our Parliament,” he said, referring to President Xi’s speech in which he reflected on Australia and China’s “common humanity, common dreams, common ambitions … and a better world we all want to build.”
“I personally felt very privileged to have spent so much time with President Xi and to have felt so much warmth with him,” Abbott said, adding that the visit made some of the most remarkable memories of his life.
Earlier in the day, in a room at the Four Season Hotel packed with some of Australia’s top leaders at the time – WA Premier Colin Barnett, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and NSW Premier Mike Baird – President Xi said the visit and the trade agreement were a “new milestone in relationships ”and a“ golden opportunity ”.
President Xi even complimented South Australian Prime Minister Jay Weatherill on the state’s Penfolds wines.
It’s far from it trade tariffs on wine that China struck in the country in December last year. Far from China labeling Australia a “Nuclear threat” and an overnight “nuclear target”.
In fact, no one could have predicted that the deterioration in the relationship would come. Not Abbott in particular: “I know Australia will benefit from these days; I think China will benefit from these days; I hope the world can benefit from these days, he says in 2014.
In the coming years, the expansion of the Chinese navy and man-made islands in the South China Sea and President Xi’s determination to stay indefinitely with talks on uniting China and Taiwan before leaving office “a worrying footnote,” said Professor Greg Barton, a security expert said. from Deakin University to ABC.
“In a sense that happened while we slept,” he said, arguing that the West’s focus on the Afghanistan war had allowed China to slide through the cracks.
Fast forward seven years, and a new agreement between Australia, USA and UK has shattered relations between China after a slow deterioration.
The three countries announced that an “eternal partnership” would focus on the increasingly tense situation in the Indo-Pacific and would involve Australia acquiring nuclear power plants and more advanced military technology, including long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The deal, according to experts, shows a dramatic political shift between alliances.
“It just shows how much China’s relations with other major countries have collapsed in recent times,” said BBC’s Stephen McDonell.
“In a way, Australia is a kind of poster boy for the failure of China’s soft power.
“It seems like yesterday that Xi Jinping was in Australia and went to football, wore a scarf, now you have Australia saying it will build nuclear power boats.”
On Thursday night, China continued its angry response to the monumental and historic security pact signed by Australia, the United States and Britain.
In a scathing reprimand on Thursday night, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian described the United States as “extremely irresponsible” and rejected Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s claim that Chinese leader Xi Jinping had an “open invitation” to resume political talks between the couple.
“Morrison’s ambition could have destructive consequences for his country if a nuclear war breaks out,” China said in a statement. Global Times editorial.
This time, there is no cavalcade of supporters beating drums and waving the Chinese flags.
The scenes that fired President Xi as he left the Four Seasons Hotel and climbed the stairs to wave goodbye on his flight home and called for closer ties between Australia’s states and China’s provinces are just a distant memory.
“I am convinced that we need to further promote relations at the state and provincial levels,” said President Xi.
“I hope you can seize the opportunity, keep an advantage, move forward with the times and focus on development strategies in both countries.”