Australia Rejects China's Proposal for Conditional Dialogue

Australia Rejects China's Proposal for Conditional Dialogue

Australia will not accept China's demands to change policy to restart bilateral talks. Foreign Minister Marise Payne said: "We have been told by China that they will only engage in high-level dialogue if we meet certain conditions. Australia does not put conditions on dialogue. We cannot meet (their) requirements now," Payne said in a statement. his speech on Thursday night (5/8) in Canberra.

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Australia's relations with China have already faltered after the Kangaroo country banned Huawei's use of its nascent 5G broadband network in 2018. The situation escalated further after Canberra last year called for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which was first reported in central China last year. .

China responded by imposing tariffs on Australian commodities, including wine and barley, and restricting imports of Australian beef, coal and wine.

The Chinese embassy in Canberra did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Payne's speech. Despite bilateral tensions, China remains Australia's largest trading partner. In the 12 months to March, Australia exported A$149 billion worth of goods to China or down 0.6 percent from a year earlier. However, exports have been supported by strong prices for iron ore, the single largest commodity in trade with China.