Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks
2019/10/31

Q: Former Australian ambassador to China Geoff Raby said in an article published recently in the Australian Financial Review that the "China threat" narrative dominating China policy in Australia's security and intelligence system has effectively frozen bilateral relations and led to ill-advised decision-making on issues regarding China, which are seen as a badge of honor. He said that megaphone diplomacy will only harm Australia's national interests and declared "it is time for diplomats to be put back in charge of our foreign policy on China". I wonder if you have a comment?

A: We have taken note of relevant reports. For some time, people of vision in Australia, proceeding from the interests of Australia and Australians, have reflected upon the country's China policy and put forward suggestions on how to improve relations with China. The Australian government should heed these objective and rational voices. It is China's consistent belief that a sound and stable China-Australia relationship serves the fundamental interests of both peoples. We hope the Australian side will learn from the setbacks in our relations in recent years, look at China and China-Australia relations in an objective, rational and just manner, adhere to the principle of mutual respect and equality, and take concrete measures to enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation, and manage differences to ensure the sound and steady development of bilateral relations.

Q: Last night, Australian Foreign Minister Payne made some quite strong comments about China, saying that Australia will continue to speak out about human rights issues in China. Is China opposed or upset at what she said last night on China?

A: We note that the Australian Foreign Minister spoke positively about China's development and China-Australia relations and expressed readiness to develop comprehensive strategic partnership with China and to properly manage differences. We appreciate that. However, on the same occasion, she also made an issue of Xinjiang in total disregard of facts to serve political purposes. Such ill-advised remarks will not help to improve or grow relations with China. We have lodged stern representations to the Australian side and pointed out the inappropriate nature of her conduct.

We have repeatedly stated that a sound and stable China-Australia relationship serves the fundamental interests of both peoples. We hope the Australian side will learn from recent setbacks in our relations and meet China halfway rather than take one step forward and two steps backward.

Besides, the Australian government should really give some thought to the views in the article mentioned in the previous question.

(Source: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks on October 30, 2019)

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