Australia to discuss key supply chains with China, strengthen ties with Japan, India and US Australian Foreign Policy

When the Australian Foreign Minister, Maurice Pine, travels to Tokyo next week to “deepen relations with like-minded partners” with Japan, India and the United States, he will certainly meet his counterparts. The note may be changing with how each country is dealing with tensions with China. .

Experts say a high-level meeting of the “quad” will do nothing to ease the current Australian diplomatic standoff with Beijing, but they see it as an important gesture exercise: four Pacific navies Foreign Ministers cooperating with the Democratic Republic to stand together to address common policies and challenges.

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in Tokyo should include ways to help the region’s health and economic recovery from the corona virus epidemic, improve the flexibility of international supply chains, and reverse state-sponsored incompetence. Will Australia wants the debate to focus on particularly sensitive areas such as key minerals and technology.

This is the second time in the last few months that Pine has traveled abroad for a major diplomatic engagement, followed by sky-high talks in Washington in late July. As in the past, Payne and his entourage will be isolated for two weeks on their return to Australia.

Dr Levina Lee, a senior lecturer in international relations at Macquarie University, said the meeting, just one year after the first quad-level foreign ministers’ meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, showed that Despite Chinese protests over any ‘special classes’, the four countries are backing away from closer cooperation on common interests.

“The Chinese are clearly worried about what the quad might cause in the future,” he said.

“The Australian government, I think right, has decided to defend our national interests, and to work with allies and partners in this, and China will get used to it. There will be a backlash, which will mean that the Australian military can be forced and that its resolve is weakening.

Last month, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Lu Zhaohui called the quad an “anti-China frontline” or “mini-NATO” that reflects America’s “Cold War mentality.”

Announcing his statement, Payne did not mention China directly, but said the meeting was at a crucial time because “our common interests are under extraordinary pressure, in which the region responds to Kwade-19.” ۔ “

“We are committed to working together, and with all countries in the region, to chart a path to recovery that will help all countries strengthen their sovereignty and resilience.”

Pine reaffirmed our shared commitment to “advancing Australian interests, deepening ties with like-minded partners and promoting a stable, inclusive and prosperous region as we move forward.” We are moving towards recovery. “

Following Tuesday’s quad meeting, Pine will also have one-on-one meetings with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshi Mitsuo Mutigi, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Indian Foreign Minister Subramanian Jaishankar. The three visiting ministers are also scheduled to meet with Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. On his way back to Australia, Payne will stop in Singapore to meet his counterpart.

He said ways to strengthen co-operation with the group would be discussed aimed at supporting the regional response to the health and economic aspects of the epidemic. It will include talks on vaccines, quality infrastructure investment and the supply chain.

The comments point to Xi Jinping’s signature belt and road initiatives – which focus on financing infrastructure projects around the world – and alternatives to creating China-dependent supply chains that are largely non-dependent.

It comes in between Separate discussion Initiate initiatives to strengthen supply chains through the trade ministers of Australia, India and Japan – but these negotiations are still in the early stages.

Peter Jennings of the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy said he expects the issue of dealing with China to be the “first talking point” at the quad meeting.

“It’s about being more confident that democratic parties are aligning in their policies – they don’t have to be the same,” he said.

“All we have to do is thank China. Regardless of how it is presented, China is what brings these four democracies closer together and faster.

Professor Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, said China was a big reason for the four countries to meet, but should not be viewed through an anti-China lens.

He said the quad also provided an opportunity for Australia, India and Japan to work together for US involvement and moderation in the region.

“Also, the three friends of the United States have worked together to encourage greater engagement and stability by engaging in dialogue with the United States – and this is really in China’s interest.”

Medcalf, who has written an article about the quad for the next edition Australian Foreign Affairs JournalThe move reflects a trend towards “unilateralism,” he said. To work in areas of mutual interest and potential of friendships and partners.

He said the Tokyo meeting was part of a long-term partnership. “We are in the early stages of a 10-year journey,” Medcliff said.

Quad grouping, formally known as Security Square Dialogue, It has its origin As a result of Boxing Day 2004, when the US, Japanese, Indian and Australian navies worked together for humanitarian aid.

The officials held their first quad meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in 2007 – the same year that then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the “Wide Asia” partnership based on accelerating cooperation between Tokyo and New Delhi. Dari demanded. But it lost steam for a number of reasons, and the then Rudd government in Australia announced it would not hold another such meeting.

The quad has gained momentum over the past few years, however, with regular talks between officials and now possible annual meetings between the foreign ministers.

Lee, of Macquarie University, said during the meeting that “tensions between Australia and China certainly did not work out,” but added that after recent trade measures against Joe, “more economic action against Australians.” Not seen as a cause of oppression: red meat and alcohol.

Dr. John Lee, a senior fellow at the University of Sydney’s Center for American Studies and a former adviser to Julie Bishop, said the ministers were meeting in person during the epidemic.

“This is a reflection of the seriousness with which Quad is being treated, which is one of the four most leaning countries in the region when it comes to combating some Chinese activities,” he said.

“It is also an indication that recent Chinese actions against India, such as the deadly clash in early June, have placed an unprecedented emphasis on the Indian quad.”

Asked whether Australians should be bothered by China’s response to bilateral tensions, he said: “China has already taken a strong stance against Australia on other issues. Chasing the quad is a reaction to China’s behavior, as it has been for India. There is also safety in numbers.


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