Improving Beijing-Canberra ties in reverse as writer’s death sentence prompts fury


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SYDNEY – Until this week, it seemed that the election of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in May 2022 had not only ended the frosty ties between Canberra and Beijing but also set the two countries on a giddy path towards reconciliation. High-level meetings had resumed, China dropped most of its economic sanctions on Australian exports and Mr Albanese visited Beijing in November 2023 – the first trip by an Australian leader in seven years. But these steps towards improving relations came to a shuddering halt on Feb 5, as a Beijing court delivered a death sentence to Chinese-born Australian...