The United States and Australian have held a two-day high-level talk on China on the need to uphold a global holder that would be based on rules.
At the meeting held on Tuesday July 28, 2020, among U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper in Washington with their Australian counterparts, the two nations reasserted their commitment to ensuring rules of law in the South China Sea.
According to Marise Payne, Australian Foreign Minister, the U.S and Australian share the same commitment to the rules of law and are ready to hold countries that breach them accountable.
She cited China’s handling of freedom in Hong Kong as an example.
The two countries also agreed to form a working group that would respond to harmful disinformation. They would also consider extending their scope of cooperation on handling infectious diseases and vaccine accessibility.
Despite commitment to working with the US, Payne said Australia differs at some points with the US on the side of their relationship with China.
She said Australia had complete agreement with neither the U.S. nor China.
“The relationship that we have with China is important. And we have no intention of injuring it. But nor do we intend to do things that are contrary to our interests,” said Payne.
She also stated that Australia makes its own decision as it concerns its national interest. While stating this, she said,
“We deal with China in the same way. We have a strong economic engagement, other engagement, and it works in the interests of both countries,”
She further said that the Australia and the U.S shared a common interest in a free, prosperous and secure Pacific Ocean region, among which China is one.
“We don’t agree on everything though. And that’s part of a respectful relationship, is part of a relationship that has endured over 100 years of mateship,” Payne added.
Pompeo mentioned last week that a new alliance of democracies and like minded nations would be needed to be assertive and creative to press China to change its way calling the task the “mission of our time.”