Australia will not shy away from China and will stand up for democracy and freedom, says Scott Morrison
Australia will always stand up for freedom and democracy amid mounting tensions with China, Scott Morrison said.
The prime minister, who will discuss China with key allies at the G7 summit in the UK this weekend, said Australia would never compromise its values to appease Beijing.
Relations between Australia and China have crumbled since Morrison’s government called for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus last year, with Beijing blocking several key Australian exports, including coal, barley, beef, seafood and wine.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right during a factory visit on June 7) has refused to speak to Scott Morrison
Last year, the Chinese embassy in Canberra leaked a list of grievances the government has with Australia, including banning Chinese company Huawei from its 5G network, passing new foreign interference laws and citing human rights violations.
Beijing also demanded that Australian MPs and media stop criticizing the communist government.
Chinese ministers have refused to talk to their Australian counterparts, but Morrison has said he will not budge on any of the 14 points.
Morrison has warned that the risk of conflict in the Pacific is increasing. Pictured: Chinese troops in Mongolia
“They go to our values, they go to our sovereignty. And of course Australia will maintain our very clear positions on that,” he told Perth radio 6PR on Thursday.
“You never trade your values and who you are in your own sovereignty, integrity, ever.
“Australia will always act in our national interest. We will always stand up for what we believe in, we will always be consistently clear about where we stand on these issues.”
Since President Xi Jinping came to power, and especially in recent months, China has pursued an increasingly assertive foreign policy that has strengthened territorial claims in the South China Sea, killed Indian troops in the Himalayas and regularly jetted over Taiwan. has flown.
Three Chinese navy ships paid a four-day visit to Sydney in June 2019, with Scott Morrison saying it was mutual after Australian naval ships visited China. Since then, relations have soured
“There is a very different situation,” said Mr Morrison.
“And I think Australians would very much expect our government, my government, to be true to who we are. It’s a very straightforward proposal, very straightforward and very clear.’
The prime minister said he would like to speak with President Xi once he agrees to answer his calls.
“At the same time, we are very willing to work, trade and do business with China in our own region and more generally in the world.
“So there is no obstacle at the end of Australia to engage in that dialogue,” he said.
China’s grievances with Australia
1. ‘Incessant wanton interference in China’s Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan affairs’
2. ‘Being party to US anti-China campaign and spreading misinformation’
3. ‘Closely veiled allegations against China about cyber attacks without any evidence’
4. ‘An unfriendly or hostile media coverage of China’
5. Providing funding to ‘anti-Chinese think tank for spreading false messages’
6. ‘Foreign interference legislation’
7. ‘Foreign investment decisions’
8. ‘Blank Huawei technologies and ZTE from the 5G network’
9. ‘Politicizing and stigmatizing the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia’
10. Making statements ‘on the South China Sea to the United Nations’
11. ‘Outrageous condemnation of the ruling party of China by MPs and racist attacks on Chinese or Asian people’
12. ‘The early morning search and reckless confiscation of houses and property of Chinese journalists’
13. Calls for an independent investigation into Covid-19
14. ‘Legislation to test agreements with a foreign government’
In a speech on Thursday, Mr Morrison said the risk of war with China in the Indo-Pacific region is increasing and the world is facing uncertainty not seen since the 1930s when he rallied Australia’s allies for action. take action against the threat from Beijing.
In a key foreign policy speech in Perth ahead of his trip to the UK on Friday, Mr Morrison outlined how Australia can work with international partners to counter communist China and make the world safe for liberal democracies to thrive in .
Mr Morrison warned that China’s growing power and strategic competition with the US, coupled with the economic damage and instability caused by the pandemic, means the Indo-Pacific region faces the real prospect of war.
“The risks of miscalculation and conflict are increasing,” he said in his speech.
“The simple reality is that Australia’s strategic environment has changed significantly in recent years.
‘Accelerated trends are against our interests. And the technological lead that Australia and our allies have historically been under pressure.’
The risks of miscalculations and conflicts are increasing
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Morrison warned that the battle for dominance between the US and China – which is expected to become the world’s largest economy by 2032 – “poses a threat to global and regional stability, on which our security, prosperity and way of life depend.”
The top threats facing Australia include “rapid military modernization, tensions over territorial claims, heightened economic coercion, enhanced disinformation, foreign interference and cyber threats enabled by new and emerging technologies,” he said.
Last year, the prime minister warned that a foreign state actor had carried out a series of cyber attacks on Australian institutions such as banks, hospitals and government agencies. He did not name China, but sources said Beijing was behind the ongoing threat.
In the face of a growing threat, Mr Morrison will remind his allies that his government is spending money $270 billion to bolster its defense forces over the next decade with new 370km missiles, state-of-the-art drones, artillery systems and 800 additional troops.
Pictured: Chinese sailors with guns and helmets on a visit to Sydney in June 2019