Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles said that the country must accept ‘inconvenient truths’ about its relationship with China, news.com.au reported.
The news.com.au is an Australian-based news website which is owned by News Corp Australia. Marles, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, despite recent diplomatic breakthroughs, said the relationship with China remained “very complex”.
According to news.com.au, Richard Marles said that it was a relationship that could not be defined with “simplistic platitudes” after China wound back trade restrictions on Australian timber last week and with signs sanctions against barley could soon dissipate.
The immense threat China posed in undertaking the largest conventional military build-up since the Second World War must be taken in combination with the significant trade opportunities, he said. Marles further stated that there are human rights issues in China and Australia is vigilant in the way in which the country has raised that.
“But we’ve also seen a huge growth in the Chinese economy, which has given rise to the single biggest alleviation out of poverty that we’ve seen in human history,” he said.
“I mean, there are human rights issues in China and we are vigilant in the way in which we’ve raised that, but we’ve also seen a huge growth in the Chinese economy, which has given rise to the single biggest alleviation out of poverty that we’ve seen in human history,” Marles added.
He stated that all of the facts are sitting together and are complex. Australia has a trading relationship with China, which is of enormous benefit to this country, reported news.com.au.
“And we have added in at the same time, we do have security anxieties in relation to China with the significant military build-up that we’ve seen. All of that is complex. There’s not a way around the complexity of that,” Marles said.
The Australian Defence Minister said that the country would work with China where it can, but will also disagree with China when it must.
“But at the end of the day, we value a productive relationship with China. That’s obvious because China matters. And we’re seeking to stabilise that relationship with China and you can see that happening,” he said.
He added that, unlike China, Australia was seeking to engage with the region to make sure motive and strategy were “transparent,” as per the report in news.com.au.
(with inputs from ANI)