load_file(“/includes-n/article_top.html”);load_file(“/includes-n/float_share.html”);OPINION / OBSERVERIt takes actions, not words or letters, for Australia to repair China tiesBy Ai JunPublished: Feb 02, 2021 10:08 PMload_file(“/includes-n/article_share.html”);China Australia Illustration: Liu Rui/GTAustralian politicians have voiced multiple times recently trying to fix frayed ties with China. On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that Australia remained committed to “engaging with China.” In late January, Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said that he had written a “detailed letter setting out a strong willingness to engage with China” to his Chinese counterpart. But exactly how? This question remains unanswered. Canberra tossed out a seemingly simple suggestion to start afresh – reopening dialogue. The idea has been raised by Morrison since December. In January, he said “we are always open” to talks with China if there are no preconditions. Yet Australia is far from being “always open.” Yu Lei, chief research fellow at the research center for Pacific island countries of Liaocheng University in East Chinas Shandong Province, told Global Times on Tuesday that Australias so-called no-conditions meeting means none of Australias hostile moves against China, including restricting investment from China, banning Huawei, and demonizing the Middle Kingdom, should become the stumbling blocks of future talks between the two countries. In other words, Australia hopes to suppress, antagonize and talk with China at the same time. Australia is sending no sincere goodwill to repair ties. It takes actions, rather than words or letters to turn the table on the plunging relationship. So when Tehan stressed he wrote a letter but received no reply, he was not sending a signal to China, but to Australians, telling them Canberra tried, and that it is Beijing who showed a cold shoulder. The remarks are well choreographed with other Australian politicians, such as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who has been hyping the narrative that China is escalating “economic coercion” against Australia. The series of Australian politicians rhetoric is aimed at portraying a fiction – China is bullying Australia – in an attempt to win support and sympathy at home and abroad. Morrison acknowledged on Monday that ties with China have evidently changed, suggesting both sides “adapt to these new realities.” A simple translation of the sentence would be – Australias antagonistic and confrontational stance on China has become a new normal and China better accept it. Is that Canberras plan to fix ties? The reason for Australia pretending to extend an olive branch couldnt be more obvious – the US has a new president. Although observers generally think Washington will keep its hard-line approach toward Beijing for the moment, it is also believed the US wont behave as reckless as it did during Donald Trumps presidency. Canberra, one of the most proactive anti-China pioneers on Trumps chariot, is now anxious, fearing to be trapped in an awkward situation if Joe Biden adjusts the US China policy. It is showing goodwill gestures to China to prepare a way out of the possible predicament. If Australia wants a genuine reconciliation, it should stop interfering in Chinas domestic affairs, or lecturing China on Hong Kong or human rights issues. If Canberra sincerely wants dialogue, it would immediately halt smearing China, be it over the inconclusive COVID-19 origin, or “Chinese spy” theory. It should also stop targeting China on every possible regional issue, such as those in the South China Sea and Indo-Pacific region; quit fabricating groundless rumors about Huawei, and allow Australian telecoms to choose their partners; and remove discriminatory restrictions on Chinese investment. It is Australia that cut the line of communication with China. If it wants to resume talks, it should at least try harder to proactively connect the wires. load_file(“/includes-n/article_share.html”);RELATED ARTICLES Australian states introduce travel restrictions on WA after new COVID-19 case Several Australian states and territories have imposed border restrictions on travelers from Western Australia (WA) on Monday after … What does a new US govt mean for China-Australia ties?When China-US relations improve, Australia will strengthen its cooperation with China, Conversely, when China-US relations encounter challenges, Canberra … Why New Zealand and Australia’s relations with China are cases of fire and ice?China and New Zealand signed a deal to upgrade their existing free trade pact on Tuesday. 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