China today renewed its free trade agreement with New Zealand, and the Communist Party-controlled media called on Australia to follow the leadership of the Jacinda Ardern government and its strategic approach to China.
New Zealand Trade Minister Damien O'Connor said in an interview on Thursday that he is willing to mediate the trade reconciliation between Australia and China, and said that if the Scott Morrison government "words more carefully" and shows more respect, Canberra will be in a better position. Good situation.
"We have a mature and honest relationship with China, and we have always been able to raise concerns," he told CNBC, a US business network. "But we have always respected our healthy trade relationship. I can't speak for Australia... …Obviously, if they (Australia) follow our approach and show respect, and I want to show a little more diplomatic attitude and verbal caution from time to time, then they can hopefully be in a similar situation."
Mr. O'Connor said in a statement later that he had called Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan late Thursday and he was not speaking for Australia.
"Australia-China relations will always be a matter of China and Australia," he said.
"As I said in the interview, I spoke with my Australian counterpart earlier today to reiterate that we are not speaking on behalf of Australia on this matter or any other issue." Mr. Tehan did not criticize Mr. O'Connor on Thursday. , But he said that the relationship with China will depend on Australia’s national interests. "Our trade policy guidelines will be guided by three principles: positivity, principle and patience. We seek to engage with China on the basis of mutual benefit, and the complementarity of our economies makes us a natural trading partner."
"We are always willing to use dialogue as the best way to resolve differences."
In recent months, China has repeatedly criticized the Scott Morrison government because the latter requested an independent investigation into the origin of the new crown virus, introduced Australia’s strict foreign interference law, cooperation with the United States in the Pacific, and the prime minister’s security for Hong Kong. The repression was condemned.
According to data from the Chinese government, Beijing’s trade attacks on Australian products including beef, barley, coal, lobster, wheat and wine cost Australia’s largest trade relationship as much as A$60 billion.
Government members and foreign policy analysts are puzzled by New Zealand’s intervention.Liberal MP and former ambassador Dave Sharma said Mr. O'Connor’s comments were “not helpful or insightful”. "This lack of understanding of the basic facts does not meet my expectations of close friends and partners like New Zealand," he said.
New Zealand is a member of the "Five Eyes" intelligence network formed with Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said that if New Zealand continues to tolerate China, it may be forced to consider its membership of the "Five Eyes" and choose between Canberra and Beijing.
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