Australia: New Government Maintains Hardline Stance on China

Article by Soeren Kern for the Gatestone Institute - July 22, 2022


Australia's new Labor Party government has signaled that it will maintain the hardline policies toward China pursued by the previous conservative government and expand security ties with the United States.


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi blamed the previous government for the break-down in ties and warned the new government that it must "take concrete actions" to adopt a "correct understanding" of China. He then handed Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong a list of four demands the new government must meet to "recalibrate" the relationship: 1) do not treat China as a rival; 2) seek common ground; 3) do not do the bidding of the United States; and 4) build public support for China.


Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese replied: "Australia doesn't respond to demands; we respond to our own national interests."


In April 2022, China signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands. A leaked draft of the agreement indicates that China intends to establish a military presence in the South Pacific.


"A closed one-party state — that would never allow a foreign company near China's critical technologies — expects one-sided reciprocity and openness from Australia. China would also reject out of hand any similar attempt by another country to meddle in its domestic politics and foreign policy as a precondition for better relations." — Editorial Board of the Australian Financial Review, July 11, 2022.


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Australia's new Labor Party government has signaled that it will maintain the hardline policies toward China pursued by the previous conservative government and expand security ties with the United States. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (R) and Foreign Minister Penny Wong speak during a press conference at the Pacific Islands Forum in Suva, Fiji on July 13, 2022. (Photo by William West/AFP via Getty Images)



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