SINGAPORE — Australia and China require to discover commonalities regardless of their distinctions, as the financial relationship in between the 2 is an essential one, stated John Howard, previous Australian prime minister.
“The relationship economically between Australia and China is very important, and there are tensions in that relationship and they have to be attended to,” Howard stated on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the Singapore Summit.
The relationship in between the 2 nations has actually been filled with stress, with Beijing introducing an examination into some white wine imports from Australia last month, following actions on other product imports.
“I certainly don’t think in any way Australia should get into a situation of giving up on its relationship with China; it’s very important to us. Our commodity exports (like) iron ore, coal and the likes are very important to the Australian economy,” stated Howard, who remained in workplace from 1996 to 2007.
China is among Australia’s essential trading partners, with the Asian financial powerhouse purchasing much of the product items produced Down Under.
The current down spiral in the China-Australia relationship was activated by Canberra’s call for a worldwide probe into the origins of the coronavirus, which was initially reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Howard did not point out the probe, however highlighted the requirement for Australia to take a well balanced method to its relationship with China — even as stress in between the U.S. — Canberra’s closest ally — and China simmer.
“I don’t think we should allow ourselves to be defined by whom to support between China and the United States. We can have good relations with both of those countries, albeit of a different kind, because we are different societies,” he stated.
“I see the the bilateral relationship between Australia and China as something that we have to attend to and nurture according to our own particular interests, always remembering, of course, that we are part of a group of Western countries that believe in some fundamental values,” Howard included.
Instead, Australia and China require to discover some agreement in spite of their various histories and political systems, he stated.
“It’s tremendously important in these difficult times, particularly against the background of the pandemic, to take a balanced approach, to try and find areas of common agreement,” stated Howard.
As for problems surrounding products like white wine, Howard stated to “let the process work, let’s not over-dramatize some of the differences that are emerging.”
China’s authoritarian routine ‘a reality of life’
Howard stated that although China has actually taken a more assertive position worldwide considering that President Xi Jinping took workplace, its internal political system hasn’t altered that much — it’s simply being more carefully imposed now than in the past.
“China has been, ever since 1949, an authoritarian country run by the Chinese Communist Party, and that’s a fact of life, we have to work within that,” he included.
“You can’t expect a country that has a fundamentally different political system to agree to change that system, you have to live with that — without conceding, of course, any ground on things that are important to our own values,” he stated.
So rather of annoying the financial ties in between the 2 nations, Australia requires to work to keep its essential worths while maintaining the shared advantages of the financial relationship with China.
“It is more than just common sense, it’s a matter of long-term sensible policy,” he stated.