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Nationals Senator Matt Canavan accuses Anthony Albanese’s Labor Government of politicising Australia’s foreign policy #Nationals #Senator #Matt #Canavan #accuses #Anthony #Albaneses #Labor #Government #politicising #Australias #foreign #policy #englishheadline


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Nationals Senator Matt Canavan has accused the Labor Party of politicising Australia’s foreign policy, calling on the federal government to tell the Australian public exactly what they are prepared to give up to improve relations with the Chinese Communist Party.

The comments follow Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jingping at the G20 conference in Bali, the first meeting of the two countries leaders since 2016.

Speaking on Englishheadline Australia’s Andrew Bolt, Senator Canavan said it was “extremely unfortunate” Mr Albanese and Labor had tried to politicise the nation’s foreign policy over the last few months.

“They’ve done that with the US by somehow suggesting that the Coalition’s position on climate change jeopardised the relationship – our most important relationship – with the United States. And they’re surreptitiously doing it here with China, briefing out suggestions that somehow if Scott Morrison was prime minister we wouldn’t have this meeting,” Senator Canavan said.

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“We’ve got to remember the history here. The history here is the reason the Chinese Communist Party is angry with us is not because of Scott Morrison and not because of the Coalition.

“It’s because we as a country took the right and proper decision – the courageous decision – to say no to Huawei building our 5G network, to say no to China having untrammelled access to our foreign investment markets, and say no to Chinese influence in our politics.

“That’s why the Chinese Communist Party is upset with us.

“And it’s very clear from the briefings from the Chinese side that they expect Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party to give ground on those matters if there is to be progress in these relationships.”

Diplomatic relations between Australia and China have been in a downward spiral since 2018, when a Chinese foreign interference scandal forced the resignation of Labor’s then-senator and rising star Sam Dastyari.

The subsequent passage of Australia’s anti-foreign interference laws were among the Chinese government’s list of 14 grievances that were sensationally provided to Australian journalists.

The list also included the banning of Huawei from involvement in Australia’s 5G network, speaking out on human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and calling for an inquiry into origins of COVID-19.

Senator Canavan said he suspected Australians were not getting the full story about the discussions between Mr Albanese and Mr Xi.

“I think Anthony Albanese and the ALP has to be much more transparent with the Australian people about what exactly they are discussing with the Chinese government, and are they at all contemplating weakening those very strong and bipartisan measures that we put in place to protect our national interest in the last decade,” he said.

“They have form here, Penny Wong opposed the changes in the foreign investment thresholds that we put up at the time.

“They notionally support those changes now, the Labor party, but they have to be more upfront with us here, because as I say they are trying to politicise foreign policy and it’s not very pretty.”

Nationals Leader David Littleproud announces meeting with China’s ambassador

Senator Canavan’s comments came just hours after Nationals Party leader David Littleproud announced he met with China’s Ambassador on Tuesday.

Mr Littleproud said he told the ambassador that while dialogue is welcome, real action was required to regain trust.  

“I think it’s now the time not just for dialogue but for actions, and the first actions I think China could show very clearly in their intent to reset this relationship is to drop the tariffs on our commodities,” he told Englishheadline Australia’s Chris Kenny.

“Our farmers are paying the price for that, but our farmers found other markets. And that’s I think what has been a revelation to the Chinese is that we are sought after and we have found other markets.”

The Nationals leader said he made it clear that Australia would not trade away its core values, which was reportedly received in a “candid way”.

“There are values and principles – and I reaffirmed this to the ambassador – that will be lines in the sand that we can not cross, around our sovereignty and around our democracy, that we won’t trade away,” Mr Littleproud said.

“And when they respect and understand that and show intent through good faith and dropping these economic coercive actions against our farmers then we will continue to have good dialogue and dialogue that can be reached that will give us the benefits both here in Australia and in China.

“The ambassador took that in a candid way as he responded, and I think that’s a positive step.”

English Headline

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