SINGAPORE – Australia and China need to find a common ground despite differences, because former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said the economic relationship between the two is important.
“The economic relationship between Australia and China is so important that there are tensions in that relationship that need to be addressed,” Howard said Wednesday. Singapore Summit.
“I’m not sure Australia should go down in any way in the context of giving up its relationship with China; this is very important to us. Our exports of goods (iron ore, coal and the like) are very important to the economy,” Howard, who served from 1996 to 2007.
China is also one of Australia’s key trading partners, with the Asian Economic Authority buying most of the goods produced under the Down Under.
Howard did not mention the study, but stressed the need for Australia to take a balanced approach to its relationship with China – tensions between the United States – a close ally of Canberra – and China.
“I do not think we should be allowed to define who to support between China and the United States. We can have good relations with those two countries, even if they are different kinds, because we are different communities,” he said. .
“I think the bilateral relationship between Australia and China is something we need to develop in line with our own interests, and of course we remember being part of a group of Western nations that believe in some fundamental values,” Howard added.
Instead, Australia and China need to find some consensus despite having different histories and political systems, he said.
“In these difficult times, especially against the backdrop of an epidemic, it is important to take a consistent approach and find areas of common ground,” Howard said.
Regarding issues surrounding products such as wine, Howard said “let the process work and not exaggerate some of the growing differences.”
China’s dictatorial regime ‘real of life’
Howard said China has taken a very firm stance internationally since the presidency Xi Jinping Inaugurated, its internal political structure has not changed so much – it is now more strictly enforced than in the past.
“China has been a dictatorial country run by the Chinese Communist Party since 1949. It is a fact of life that we must act within it,” he added.
“You can’t expect a country with a fundamentally different political system to agree to change that system, you have to live with it – without agreeing, of course, our own values have no basis in what matters,” he said.
So instead of frustrating the economic ties between the two countries, Australia must maintain its core values while protecting the mutual benefits of the economic relationship with China.
“It’s more than general knowledge, it’s a matter of long-term prudent policy,” he said.