A senior U.S. official said today that the Biden administration has informed China that the normalization of relations with Australia is a prerequisite for Washington to take major steps to improve Sino-U.S. relations.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald report quoted by Reuters, the White House National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator, Kurt Campbell, said in an interview that every time US and Chinese officials met, they would mention China’s “economic coercion” against Australia. “This week This point will be emphasized later in the bilateral interaction in Anchorage (Anchorage).”
US Secretary of State Blincoln will meet in Alaska the day after tomorrow (18th) with Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Alaska. This is the first time that China and the United States have held a meeting since the Biden administration took office. High-level face-to-face contact.
Campbell pointed out in an interview published today, “We have made it clear that while a close ally is under some form of economic coercion, the United States does not intend to improve bilateral relations, nor does it intend to deal with it separately.”
Campbell said that Biden told Australian Prime Minister Morrison at a meeting of leaders of the QUAD Group last Friday that “on this issue, our position is unanimous.” The group also includes Japan and India.
Campbell: “We fully understand the current situation, and the United States is not prepared to take substantive actions to improve relations (with China) unless such policies are corrected and more normal interactions between Australia and China are established.”
In the past year, China-Australia relations have been tense. Australia has asked for an international investigation into the source of the coronavirus, while China has retaliated in trade, with products involving Australian coal, red wine, barley, seafood, beef and timber.
Campbell also told the Sydney Morning Herald that China’s such measures not only target Australia, but also include the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Japan.