WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and close ally Australia held high-level talks on China and agreed on the need to maintain a rules-based global order, but the Australian Foreign Minister valued Canberra’s relations with Beijing Told and had no intention. To hurt it.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens while Australian Foreign Minister Marijne Payne speaks during a news conference at the US State Department, with the 30th AUSMIN on July 28, 2020 in Washington, DC.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Osho held two days of talks with their Australian counterparts in Washington, who, after their withdrawal, went worldwide for meetings despite the COVID-19 pandemic and faced two weeks of quarantine .
At a joint news conference on Tuesday, Pompeo praised Australia for standing up to China’s pressure, and said that Washington and Canberra would work together to reestablish the rule of law in the South China Sea, where China claims its Is pressing This has led to concerns about friction with other countries in the region and freedom of navigation.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Marijne Payne said the United States and Australia shared a commitment to the rule of law and reiterated their commitment to hold China responsible for violations such as the abolition of independence in Hong Kong.
He added that the two sides have also agreed to form a working group to monitor and respond to harmful disinfection and will consider ways to expand cooperation on infectious diseases, including access to vaccines.
At the same time, she said that Australia did not agree on everything with Beijing or with the United States.
“Our relations with China are important. And we do not intend to injure it, ”he said. “But neither do we intend to do things that are contrary to our interests.”
He said that Australia and the United States had a common interest in the Asia-Pacific region, which was free, prosperous and secure and was broadly aligned on issues including China.
Although we do not agree on everything. And he is part of a respectful relationship, part of a relationship that has ended during ‘intercourse’ for over 100 years.
Payne did not elaborate on the differences with Washington, but said Australia made its own decisions and decisions based on its national interests and security.
“We deal with China in the same way. We have a strong economic engagement, other engagement and it works in the interests of both countries. ”
Pompeo, a persistent and forceful critic of Beijing, said in a speech last week that Washington and its allies should use “more constructive and assertive ways” to suppress China to change their ways and call it “the mission of our time.” ” said.
Pompeo then also stated that there could be “a new group of like-minded countries, a new coalition of democracies” for this purpose.
The Trump administration has turned to some traditional allies, including Europe, over trade issues, Pompeo has been criticized by some for the speech.
Payne declined to comment specifically on this, but said “the Secretary’s speeches are his own, Australia’s positions are our own,” even though countries operate on shared values.
In response to a question, Pompeo rejected the suggestion that the administration’s approach was untenable.
“It’s not about choosing America vs. China,” he said.
“It’s about choosing freedom and democracy against tyranny and authoritarian rule, and I believe that democracy, our transatlantic coalitions … know precisely, which side of that debate they want to be.”
While Washington is Australia’s main security partner, China is its largest trading partner, and Canberra maintained ties with the latter, emphasizing an international investigation into the spread of coronovirus.
Beijing has imposed dumping tariffs on barley from Australia, suspended some beef imports and warned students and tourists to travel, citing allegations of racism.
Reporting by David Brunstrom and Daphne Soledakis, Editing by Franklin Paul and Grant McCool