Beijing Reiterates Booming Economic, Trade Relations Between China, Australia

Australia China
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne meets her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing (Photo: REUTERS)

A top Chinese diplomat confirmed on Thursday that there's no rivalry between China and Australia as news pointing out to the latter's latest Pacific policy address came to the fore - a move which political analysts consider as a Canberra's initiative to counter Beijing's undeniable growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

As cited by Reuters, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said that both countries should work further on improving its economic and trade cooperation rather than become strategic rivals in the South Pacific.

The Chinese official gave the remarks following a meeting held in the nation's capital where one of the objectives was to reignite bilateral ties between Australia and the Asian nation.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne chimed in saying that the two countries are better off working together on their respective strengths while, at the same time, establish cooperation with other island nations in the Pacific.

Payne, however, recognizes the fact that just like in any other relationship, there will certainly be differences occurring from time to time between two or more concerned parties. What is important though, according to the Australian official, is that Beijing and Canberra should be able to manage the setbacks respectfully, while keeping in mind the opportunities that this bilateral relation presents to both nations.

As previously reported here on Business Times, political experts attributed Australia's growing economy on the country's strong trade relations with China.

China happens to be one of Australia's major trading partner whereby the former largely depends on the latter for its supply of commodities like coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as mineral resources like iron ore.

The site for Australian Embassy in China indicated the statistics revealing the dependence of the majority of Australian mining companies on the Chinese market, with India coming in on second place.

Australia's Multi-Billion Dollar Pivot to the Pacific

Scott Morrison, the newly installed Prime Minister of Australia launched the so-called first landmark Pacific policy that sets up a multi-billion dollar infrastructure bank.

According to this report, the Australian government seeks to step up its engagement with the Pacific island countries. As such, Canberra will ramp up its military cooperation with a number of Pacific countries in the form of annual defense meetings, shared security and police intelligence network, as well as the creation of new diplomatic posts.

But the centerpiece of this diplomatic initiative will be the $2 billion AUD financial facility which will be made available in the form of grants and soft loans. This will help fund major regional projects in the Pacific.

China, on the other hand, has already spent more than $1 billion on concessional loans and gifts to the Pacific region since 2011 and will continue to do so in the coming years.

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