Japan and Australia reinforce Quad bond in message to Biden

Daniel Fowler
November 19, 2020

It will form a key plank of Australia's and Japan's response to an increasingly challenging security environment in our region amid more uncertain strategic circumstances.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, who has seen imports from several industries boycotted by China under his watch, has had his attempts to contact diplomats in China rebuffed for months.

Late Tuesday, Nine Newspapers reported that an anonymous Chinese official had provided it with a document laying out more than a dozen complaints against Australia.

It believes Australia's push for an independent inquiry into the COVID-19 outbreak was justified, and it has every right to publicly state its concerns about human rights abuses in China.

Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has conveyed to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hope for a stronger bilateral partnership to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

"I want to stress that the Australian side is completely aware of the crux of the decline of the bilateral relations", Mr Zhao told reporters in China.

Back in Australia, Morrison told media that it was a mistake for China to believe Australia acted at the behest of the United States.

"The U.S. -China relationship is clearly one that has been through quite a tumultuous period", Birmingham said at a virtual forum hosted by The Australian newspaper.

He said Australia was responsible for the deterioration in ties, saying "whoever started the trouble should end it".

China and Australian relations continue to worsen.

Amid China's Ever Growing Threat, Japan, Australia Likely To Ink Defense Pact

The list comes as China's state media lashed out at a defence deal Australian signed with Japan overnight, the Reciprocal Access Agreement, warning they will "pay a corresponding price" if Beijing's interests are infringed upon.

"These practices have grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people", he said.

On defense, the two nations first entered into a cooperation agreement in 2007, agreed to share military supplies in 2013, expanded in 2017 to include munitions.

After the deal was inked, the Chinese embassy reacted by deliberately leaking the grievance list and briefing media about the relationship.

Mr Morrison said Australia makes its own laws and rules.

That naval drill, code-named "Malabar", was centered on India's Vikramaditya naval carrier group and the USA navy's Nimitz carrier group, said India's Defense Ministry.

"China has benefited from our natural resources exports and we have benefited from its manufacturing imports", he said.

"While we are ultimately reliant on countries acting in good faith, we have to ensure we are doing absolutely everything in our power to secure Australia's continued prosperity through mutually beneficial trade and cooperation".

In an interview with Seven Network's Sunrise program, Morrison said: "Having a free media, having parliamentarians elected and able to speak their minds is a cause for concern, as well as speaking up on human rights in concert with other countries like Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and others in global forums, if this is the cause for tension in that relationship, then it would seem that the tension is that Australia is just being Australia".

Scott Morrison's tough stance on China has yet to waver.

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