China’s ambassador to Australia says relationship between countries ‘at new juncture’

China’s ambassador to Australia says relations between the two countries are at a new juncture, with ministry talks resuming after a three-year freeze.
In a speech at the Australia-China Friendship Association national conference in Western Australia, Ambassador Xiao Qian said Beijing wanted to work with the federal government to push relations between the two countries in the right direction.
His remarks come after Defense Minister Richard Marles met with his Chinese counterpart, General Wei Fenghe, at an international forum in Singapore.

Former defense and intelligence chief Dennis Richardson described the talks as a step in the right direction after years of growing tensions between China and Australia.

Mr Xiao said China saw relations with Australia from a long-term perspective and was committed to working together.
“China-Australia relations are also at a new stage of development, facing many challenges and great opportunities,” he said in his weekend speech.
“China … is committed to friendly exchanges and co-operation with the Australian side for mutual benefit and win-win results. This policy has been and does not change.”

The relationship has been frozen since Australia called for an investigation into the origin of COVID-19, which sparked several discussions with its trading partner.

Tensions have risen in recent months after China signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands, while seeking agreements with other Pacific nations.
Mr Xiao said China was seeking further discussions with Australia on sustainable development with the Pacific countries and cooperation in the region.
“China attaches great importance to Australia’s traditional influence in the Pacific islands, and is willing to maintain communication with Australia on island affairs,” he said.

Dennis Richardson, who was Australia’s secretary of defense between 2012 and 2017 and a former ASIO director general, said ministerial contacts between the two nations were important after a period of tension.


“The fact that they agreed to speak at the first opportunity is important to note,” he told ABC Radio.
“I don’t think we should go too far on the track on this, we have a long way to go.”
Mr Richardson said renewed talks between Australia and China had come in part due to changes in government.
However, he said that the two nations would still differ greatly.

“A change of government after a decade brings with it this kind of opportunity,” Mr Richardson said.

“There is still a lot of fundamental difference between China and Australia, which the new government is fully aware of.
“I don’t think we’ll be looking for any typing tools anytime soon.”
Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek told Seven Network she welcomed new talks with China.
However, he said that the new workers’ government would not back down from the power of the Asian atrocities.
“Australia will always stand up for the value of our human rights, our national interests, and at these meetings it is important to continue to talk about our interests and values,” he said.

“Speaking is always better than not talking. It gives us the opportunity to raise issues.”

China’s ambassador to Australia says relationship between countries ‘at new juncture’ Source link China’s ambassador to Australia says relationship between countries ‘at new juncture’

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