Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Australia’s defense minister meets Chinese counterpart, melts two-year diplomatic freeze

Defense Minister Richard Marles held a one-on-one meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Singapore, officially ending a two-year diplomatic freeze between Canberra and Beijing.

Mr Marles’ meeting with General Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Security Summit marked the first high-level contact with Australia’s largest trading partner since January 2020.

Angered by calls for the Morrison government to investigate the origins of COVID-19, China has cut off contact with Canberra at a political level, and launched billion-dollar trade attacks on Australian exports.

Mr Marles described the meeting as a “clear and complete exchange” in which he raised several issues of concern to Australia, including the recent interception of an Australian Air Force aircraft by China over the South China Sea. is included.

“It was an important meeting between the two countries that resulted in the Indo-Pacific meeting,” he said.

“It was an important first step.

Alarm expressed over South China Sea build-up

The meeting was set against the backdrop of increasing aggression by Beijing in the South China Sea.

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