fredag 9. april 2021

China-Australia relations: is Canberra taking a ‘less combative’ stance with Beijing despite tensions?

Australia has seemingly moved towards “less combative” interactions with China, despite ongoing tensions and alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his cabinet expressed a desire for a “positive” and productive relationship. There has been no ministerial-level
contact between the two governments for the past year after a fallout that started over calls for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and spiralled into a broad trade conflict.

But comments made by Morrison on Wednesday, the same day the Chinese embassy in Canberra called a press conference to defend allegations against China’s treatment of Uygurs in its northwestern province, have been viewed by foreign relations experts in Australia as a “more deliberate and careful articulation of views on China” from Canberra. “We want to see a positive relationship between the larger countries that are impacting on our region,” Morrison said on Wednesday, adding that Minister for Defence Peter Dutton shared the same view.