Beijing has again blamed Australia for the current diplomatic tensions between the two countries after the Biden administration told China they would not take steps to improve bilateral relations while an ally was under economic coercion.
President Joe Biden has reportedly told the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “we are not going to leave Australia alone on the field.”
The commitment was voiced by Biden’s Indo-Pacific coordinator, Kurt Campbell ahead of a meeting between top U.S. and Chinese officials in Alaska today.
“We have made clear that the U.S. is not prepared to improve relations in a bilateral and separate context at the same time that a close and dear ally is being subjected to a form of economic coercion,” Campbell told The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday.
He said Biden had personally pledged this commitment to Prime Minister Scott Morrison during the Quad meeting last week.
“So we’ve indicated both to Australia and China at the highest levels that we are fully aware of what’s going on and we are not prepared to take substantial steps to improve relations until those policies are addressed and a more normal interplay between Canberra and Beijing is established,” Campbell said.
Australia-China relations are at an all-time low after China imposed punitive economic sanctions in response to Australia’s call to an independent inquiry into the origins of the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
However, when the Chinese foreign ministry was asked about Campbell’s comments, spokesperson Zhao Lijian dismissed the warning and deflected the blame back to Australia, saying that Australia used wrong words on China’s sovereignty, security and interests.
China Attacks Australia on Human Rights
On the same day as the meeting of the Quad alliance leaders on March 12, the CCP submitted a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council condemning Australia’s use of off-shore detention centres and called for an investigation into the behaviour of Australian troops overseas.
In a statement, Beijing said they wanted “concrete steps” to be taken to protect the rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and children.
However, the move by the CCP comes amid growing international condemnation of the political situation in Hong Kong and the CCP’s genocide of the Uyghur minority.