Foreign Minister won’t apologise for ‘Australia being Australia’ amid rising tensions
The federal government has attempted to smooth over tensions with China while maintaining Australia’s sovereignty.
Beijing delivered a list of 14 grievances China has with Canberra, with one official saying “if you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy”.
At the top of the list are decisions to ban Huawei from the rollout of the 5G network, foreign interference laws, and calling for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne told Jim Wilson “China is absolutely not the enemy, very far from it”.
“We have a very important relationship with China but … Australia is guided, as you would expect, by our national interest and by Australia’s democratic values.”
Ms Payne responded to China’s list of demands by pointing out Australia makes decisions as a sovereign country and will continue to do so in that context.
“That’s Australia being Australia: we would not be changing any of those decisions.”
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