‘Return to calm’: Australia repeats calls for end to China’s military drills around Taiwan

Australia has again called for an end to China’s military drills near Taiwan, and a “return to calm”, as China has demanded that Australia stop interfering in its affairs. China has been conducting live-fire drills near Taiwan in the wake of a visit from the US house speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Australia does not recognise Taiwan as a country under the One China policy, but maintains unofficial ties. The US recognises the One China policy without agreeing with it. Beijing, meanwhile, expects to one day control the island. Defence minister, Richard…

‘Abusing China’s restraint’: Beijing accuses Australia of provocation at sea

China has accused Australia of provocation in the South China Sea and said Australia – along with the United States and Canada – must “refrain from abusing China’s restraint”. Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin was responding to a question about recent military encounters in the South China Sea, including reports in Politico that a Chinese fighter jet had an “unsafe” and “unprofessional” interaction with an American C-130 aircraft. Politico reported that the interaction came amid more aggressive military actions by Chinese pilots involving Australian and Canadian planes. Just after the…

China says relationship with Australia ready to ‘set sail again’ amid hopes coal import ban will be scrapped

Australia’s relationship with China can “set sail again”, the Chinese government says, as it reportedly considers scrapping a ban on Australian coal exports. China put trade sanctions on Australian coal – and a range of other exports – in 2020. Last week, Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, met with her Chinese counterpart, describing the meeting as a “first step” towards resetting the antagonistic relationship. The Australian trade minister, Don Farrell, has suggested a compromise on trade disputes might be possible. Bloomberg has reported that Chinese bureaucrats are set to…

‘We are family’: Anthony Albanese meets Solomon Islands PM amid tension over China deal

Anthony Albanese has met with the Solomon Islands prime minister in Suva to discuss their common interests of climate change and regional security issues, despite recent tensions between the two nations over China. It is the first time that Albanese has met Manasseh Sogavare. The relationship between the countries has become increasingly tense since the signing of the controversial security pact with China earlier this year, but ahead of the meeting Albanese reiterated the importance of the relationship and said it “will be even better after this afternoon”. The meeting…

Australia sees climate crisis as a national security issue, defence minister tells US

Australia’s defence minister, Richard Marles, has warned of the use of “force or coercion” in the South China Sea and “intensification of major power competition”, references to China’s rising power in the Indo-Pacific. Marles made the comments in a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies on his visit to the US, committing Australia to closer cooperation with the US, higher defence spending and to address the climate crisis in part as a national security issue. It coincided with a separate announcement that the Australian and US governments…

Australia news live updates: at least 77 Covid deaths; Albanese pays tribute to Abe; NSW counts cost of floods

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Penny Wong: China and Australia take ‘first steps towards stabilising relationship’

Penny Wong, Australia’s foreign affairs minister, says Canberra and Beijing have taken the “first step towards stabilising the relationship” after the first face-to-face meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers since 2019. After a meeting with Wang Yi, her Chinese counterpart, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali on Friday, Wong told reporters Australia would continue to push for an end to Beijing’s “coercive” trade sanctions against a range of exports, and would also not recoil from any domestic policy decisions taken “on the basis of our national…

Live news: Australia and New Zealand to coordinate on electric vehicle fleet; danger from NSW floods continues

From 54m ago Australia and NZ to coordinate on electric vehicle fleet Royce Kurmelovs Australia will coordinate with New Zealand when it comes to procuring electric vehicles for its government fleet. Prime minister Anthony Albanese made the announcement on Friday when discussing opportunities for trans-Tasman collaboration in the area of renewable energy. Albanese said: If we are all competing against each other for procurement at the same time, we will end up paying more for it but not if there is cooperation between Australia and New Zealand. The PM went…

Penny Wong says she is open to meeting with Chinese counterpart at G20

Australia’s foreign minister, Penny Wong, has signalled she is open to meeting her Chinese counterpart at a looming meeting of G20 foreign ministers, but she has warned any diplomatic thaw will require the removal of Beijing’s “coercive” trade sanctions against a variety of exports. Wong was asked during a visit to Singapore on Wednesday to disclose whether or not arrangements were now in place for a conversation at the G20 meeting in Indonesia later this week – and if so, what her message would be to China’s Wang Yi. Australia’s…

Australian trade minister offers ‘compromise’ with China over anti-dumping tariffs

Australia’s trade minister has extended an olive branch to China, suggesting a “compromise situation” or “alternative way” to settle trade disputes might emerge in talks between the two countries. Don Farrell made the comments in an interview with Guardian Australia hailing “positive signs” in Australia’s relationship with China, including the foreign minister, Penny Wong, planning to meet her counterpart, and China’s consent to a trade dispute appeal process. Since the Albanese government was elected in May, Australia and China have reopened lines of communication including the deputy prime minister, Richard…