U.S. and Australian foreign ministers meet in Washington: Blinken: Australia will not be left alone to face Chinese economic coercion

U.S. and Australian foreign ministers met in Washington on Thursday and met with reporters afterwards.

U.S. and Australian foreign ministers meet in Washington on Thursday and meet with reporters afterward. Secretary of State John Blinken emphasizes that the United States will not leave Australia alone in the face of economic coercion by the Chinese Communist Party and makes clear that China’s coercive behavior toward U.S. allies will prevent improved relations between the United States and China. (By Lu Xi)

Blinken said, “We have been very clear, both publicly and privately, about our concerns about the economic coercion that the Chinese Communist Party is exerting on our allies. We have made it clear to the Chinese Communist Party that such actions against our close partners and allies will impede the improvement of our own country’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.”

Washington has repeatedly criticized Beijing in the past for trying to bully its neighbors with whom it has competing interests, and U.S. President Joe Biden has been active in strengthening ties with Indo-Pacific allies to deal with China.

Australian Foreign Minister Payne said Australia has been clear that it wants a constructive relationship with the CCP, but reiterated that it will not sacrifice national security and sovereignty to do so, and that Australia will remain committed to protecting national security and sovereignty.

Australia-China relations have deteriorated sharply since Australia banned Huawei from its 5G network and proposed an independent investigation into the source of the new crown pneumonia. The Chinese Communist Party has launched a series of trade sanctions against Australia, including targeting Australian wine and coal. Last week Beijing even suspended all activities of its bilateral economic dialogue with Australia.