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Australia and China have started their first high-level dialogue in three years in a sign of a slight thaw to relations between countries that have clashed on human rights, COVID-19 and trade.

Australia and China opened their first high-level dialogue in three years Thursday in a sign of a slight thaw to relations between countries that have clashed on everything from human rights to COVID-19 origins to trade.

“I welcome the recent positive developments in the bilateral relationship, but we know that there is more work to do,” said Craig Emerson, the head of the Australian delegation and a former trade minister.