Australia will not restart talks with China, says foreigner Minister Payne

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Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia would not accept Chinese requests to modify the policy to restart bilateral discussions.
“China has told us that they will only participate in the high-level discussion if we satisfy specific requirements.”Australia does not impose any restrictions on the conversation. “We can’t satisfy (their) requirements right now,” Ms. Payne said in a speech in Canberra late Thursday (Aug 5). She was presenting at the Australia China Business Council’s annual conference.
Relations with China, which were already strained when Australia barred Huawei from its embryonic 5G internet network in 2018, became worse after Canberra demanded an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus epidemic, which was first discovered in central China last year. China retaliated by levying taxes on Australian goods such as wine and barley and restricting imports of Australian cattle, coal, and grapes.
When asked if next year’s Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing, would be an excellent time to “break the water,” Ms. Payne agreed, adding she hoped the opportunity for a meeting would be taken. The Chinese Embassy in Canberra did not immediately return a request for comment on Ms. Payne’s speech. Despite the hostilities between the two countries, China is Australia’s greatest commercial partner.

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