Australia Won’t Swap Values for China Talks, Minister Payne Says

Australia won’t trade away important principles and values to restart talks with China, Foreign Minister Marise Payne told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

A senior aide to U.S. President Joe Biden came out in support of Australia earlier in the week, telling the Chinese government relations between the two superpowers won’t improve until Beijing stops its economic coercion against Australia, one of America’s closest allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Biden administration has shown it has Australia’s back, Payne said in the interview.

She also said she had reached out to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in recent months to restart the dialogue, but he had not responded. Australia would welcome talks at the ministerial or leader level, Payne said.

Relations between Australia and China, its largest trading partner, have deteriorated since April, when Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government called for independent investigators be allowed into Wuhan to probe the origins of the coronavirus. Since then, Beijing has implemented a range of trade actions against Australian goods, including coal, wine and barley.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.