In a press conference with Australian Foreign Minister Maris Payne, the US Secretary of State said, reiterating previous statements that the United States will not leave Australia alone in the face of economic pressure from China. Anthony Blinken admitted that such measures against US allies could impede the improvement of US-China relations.
Washington has repeatedly criticized Beijing for trying to intimidate neighbors whose interests conflict with China’s plans, and US President Joe Biden has tried to establish relations with allies in the Indian and Pacific Oceans to counter China’s growing power. “I repeated previous statements that the United States will not leave Australia alone in the face of economic pressures from China,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a press conference attended by Australian Foreign Minister Marys Payne.
“We have made clear how the actions of the People’s Republic of China against our closest partners and allies make it difficult to improve our relations with China,” said Anthony Blinken.
China is putting pressure on Australia
Due to deteriorating relations with Australia in recent years, China has imposed a number of trade sanctions on Australian exports, including wine and charcoal. Since the escalation of tensions between the two countries, successive Australian trade ministers have been unable to enter into talks with their Chinese counterparts. Last week, Beijing suspended all activities in its bilateral economic dialogue with Australia.
Australia was one of the first countries to publicly ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from accessing 5G due to security concerns, and last year Beijing angered calls for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
Australian Foreign Minister Maryse Payne said Australia has made it clear that it wants constructive relations with China. “But we will not give up our national security or our sovereignty, and we will continue to defend it,” she added.
Main Image Source: Al Drago / NYT / EPA / PAP