SINGAPORE – Australia will continue to advocate for its national interests but is keen to see strained relations with China improve, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Monday.
“The China-Australia trade relationship … is very important,” Frydenberg told CNBC’s Will Koulouris. “This is mutually beneficial. Our resources have helped sustain China’s economic growth and we welcome that.”
“At the same time, China has become a very important market for Australia and our exports to China have helped to increase income here in Australia – being an important source of income and job creation,” Frydenberg told CNBC, as part of the network coverage. that Davos Agenda.
Relations between the two major trading partners deteriorated last year when Australia supported a calls for an international investigation into China’s handling of Covid-19, which was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The national flags of Australia and China are displayed in front of Mao Zedong’s portrait facing Tiananmen Square.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP via Getty Images
Meanwhile, Frydenberg said Australia had a clear understanding of its own national interests in the fields of security, foreign investment and human rights.
“We will continue to advocate and voice Australia’s national interests but that should not deter, again, the strong relationship in the region and historically, we have had a very good partnership with China and we want to see that continue,” he said. add.
Frydenberg said his government was looking forward to working with America’s new President Joe Biden and explained that the strength of the Australia-US alliance does not depend on which leader is in power in the two countries.
“The relationship is strong and enduring – based on mutual respect, based on shared values and, of course, common interests,” he said, adding that the United States has “an indispensable role in our part of the world, in the Asia-Pacific.”
Under the former President Donald Trump, The US appears to be retreating from its position of influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Trump withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and Washington did not take part in it Massive Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – signed by China and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries that will cover about 30% of the world’s population, and the global economy.
“We look forward to a very constructive relationship between the US and Australia and it is a very important one, not only for Australia but also for the United States,” said Frydenberg.
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