Australia hits back at 'needless' worsening of China ties

25 Novembre, 2020, 11:05 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison has participated in several virtual international meetings this week while in quarantine due to a recent trip to Japan

Australia will not be "forced" to choose a side between China or the United States, and will stare down threats as it pursues its own interests, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.

Mr Morrison, who has long tried to balance Australia's close trading ties with China and enduring security alliance with the USA, said the ongoing rivalry had created challenges for Indo-Pacific nations that could spread further west.

"Like other sovereign nations in the Indo-Pacific, our preference is not to be forced into binary choices", he said.

Also, it has targeted sensitive Australian exports with economic sanctions in the bid to increase the cost of defying China's wishes.

Beijing has produced a laundry list of complaints about Australian policies ― from banning Huawei's participation in 5G rollout to its call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. "China expects someone who can deal with US-China relations in a sensible way that serves US interests", he said.

"Greater latitude will be required from the world's largest powers to accommodate the individual interests of their partners and allies. We all need a bit more room to move", Morrison told the UK Policy Exchange.

Mr Morrison rejected any notion that Australia needs to pick sides.

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"Australia desires an open, transparent and mutually beneficial relationship with China", he said.

"Equally we are absolutely committed to our enduring alliance with the U.S., anchored in our shared world view, liberal democratic values and market-based economic model".

United States admiral's undercover visit to Taiwan certain to annoy ChinaBlinken said earlier that Biden would engage China from a "position of strength" and focus on restoring USA democracy and its relations with allies.He has also acknowledged the bipartisan view of China as a major challenge, and pledged to get U.S. allies on board to confront Beijing on issues such as trade practices."When we're working with allies and partners, depending on who we bring into the mix, it's 50 or 60 per cent of GDP".

"The root cause of the deteriorating bilateral ties is Australia's repeated wrong acts and remarks on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns as well as its provocative and confrontational actions", China's embassy in Canberra said in a statement posted on its website on Monday.

In his speech, Mr Morrison dismissed the notion that Australia is a puppet of the US.

"It's as if Australia does not have its own unique interests or views as an independent sovereign state". This is just false. "And worse it needlessly deteriorates relationships".

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