in

Is China Really Open To Improving Ties With Australia?

Is China Really Open To Improving Ties With Australia?

Is China Really Open To Improving Ties With Australia? This question has been seeking answers in the minds of people. China seems to have lately experienced a sudden change of heart after years of rising tensions with Australia.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi reportedly remarked last week, according to Reuters, “The Chinese side is eager to take the pulse [on bilateral relations], recalibrate, and set sail again.”

The Australian government struggled for more than two years to get its Chinese counterparts to answer the phone, let alone consent to a meeting.

However, in what might be a hint that the ice is melting, the defense ministers of the two nations met in June, and their foreign ministers met earlier this month outside of the G20 conference.

What is its significance?

Is China Really Open To Improving Ties With Australia?

Words have power.

The meetings, according to Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, are “the first step towards stabilizing the relationship.”

Relations deteriorated in 2018 as Australia demanded an investigation into the origins of Covid-19, barred Chinese telecom giant Huawei from the 5G network, and criticized China’s record on human rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

China retaliated by putting trade restrictions on Australian goods, including barley, lobsters, lumber, and coal, and by severing all ministerial ties.

The wine business suffered the most. Before tariffs took effect in 2020, China was Australia’s most profitable market, accounting for one-third of all export earn

Is China Really Open To Improving Ties With Australia?

However, there has been a rush of bilateral engagement since the election of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s cabinet in May, and some have even argued that this is the reason for hope.

The Lowy Institute think tank’s Jennifer Hsu claims that at this point, everything is all talk.

“This is not an olive branch, in my opinion. I wouldn’t characterize it as a reset, “told the BBC. “Neither side has yet made any promises,” the author writes.

She asserts that the change in Australia’s tone, away from the “chest hammering” of Scott Morrison’s administration, is nevertheless a significant development.

Beijing took issue with the statements made by that government, particularly those made by Peter Dutton, the defense minister at the time, who compared China to Germany in the 1930s and warned Australia needed to be “ready for war.”

This was hinted at by Mr. Wang earlier this month, who claimed that “irresponsible words and deeds” were the “main cause” of the tensions between Canberra and Beijing.

The concept of the face, or mianzi, is particularly significant in Asian or Chinese culture, according to Ms. Hsu.

“Words have weight in Beijing. And it is obvious by its speech and behavior that it was offended.

Beijing has slightly tempered its harsh words in return, but both parties must back up their new talk with deeds, according to Ms. Hsu.

Beijing values words. And it is obvious by its speech and behavior that it was offended.

Beijing has slightly tempered its harsh words in return, but both parties must back up their new talk with deeds, according to Ms. Hsu.

What do both sides desire?
Canberra, according to Mr. Wang, can take a number of steps to mend fences, but essentially it needs to treat China “as a partner rather than an enemy.”

His statements have been seen by some as demands that Australia ceases its criticism of China and refrain from turning to the US or other nations to curtail Beijing’s influence in regions like the Pacific.

According to Dr. Bryce Wakefield, executive director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, the requests from China are “unlikely” to have any effect on Australian policy.

Australia will not “concede,” Ms. Wong has frequently emphasized, adding that “our national interests and our policy settings have not altered” despite changes to the Australian government.

However, trade is Australia’s main source of contention. Beijing has been charged with “economic coercion” by it.

China should treat Australia properly, according to Dr. Wakefield.

Additionally, it calls for the release of Yang Hengjun and Cheng Lei, two Australians who were detained separately in China.

Ms. Hsu and Dr. Wakefield concur that trade may see some progress, but other compromises are less likely.

According to Dr. Wakefield, “I can’t imagine China suddenly changing its mind and enabling the Australian citizens to take their freedom without compromise from Australia.”

Uncertain area for significant change

Will anything genuinely change if both nations desire to make difficult concessions?

According to Dr. Wakefield, China “recognizes it has somewhat pushed itself into a corner.”

Australian foreign policy hasn’t changed as a result of China’s aggressive rhetoric, and the Australian economy has been rather well protected from China’s effective trade penalties.

However, he asserts that Beijing is unlikely to back down if it is trying to warn weaker nations like Australia not to meddle with it.

China does, in fact, need Australia, according to Ms. Hsu, especially right now.

Australia is not very militarily strong, but it might provide some energy security for the approaching winter, according to the author.

Millions of Chinese people were left without heat due to electricity shortages last year, and the government will work to prevent the upheaval that any blackouts would cause.

Energy supplies could be further constrained by the conflict in Ukraine, therefore it could turn to Australia, a major coal exporter.

Although kinder words have been spoken, some difficulties have grown more serious.

Australia charged a Chinese fighter jet with performing a risky maneuver close to one of its planes last month over the South China Sea.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation stated that a nuclear-powered submarine, a cruiser, and several planes followed an Australian warship as it navigated through the same international waterways that China claims as its domain.

According to Ms. Hsu, the experiences constitute a warning.

“Beijing wants to convey the idea that it is a force and a military power. and that their generosity definitely has a limit.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avatar of Mercy Isidore

Written by Mercy Isidore

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Criminal attempted to hide 125kg of cocaine in special manufactured diesel generator

Criminal attempted to hide 125kg of cocaine in special manufactured diesel generator