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Chinese FM Spokesperson: The Ball Is in Australia's Court with Regard to Improving Bilateral Relations

2021-06-24 13:54

At a regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on 23 June, spokesperson Zhao Lijian answered a question on China-Australia relations.

Journalist: According to a recent survey in Australia, Australians' trust in China has dropped to a record low. Only 16% of respondents said they trust China to act responsibly in the world, according to the annual Lowy Institute poll. Separately, an official from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has said that China is "dogged by insecurity". Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: We've noted relevant reports. The institute's report is based on survey of about 2,000 people. Whether its conclusions are reliable remains a question. The remarks of the Australian official couldn't be further from the fact.

I'd like to stress that since the latter half of 2017, China-Australia relations have experienced one serious setback after another. The crux is that Australia, in a breach of international law and basic norms of international relations, grossly interfered in China's domestic affairs, hurt Chinese interests and wantonly placed restrictions on bilateral exchange and cooperation. The Australian side bears full responsibility. China always believes that a sound and stable relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples. The ball is in Australia's court with regard to improving bilateral relations. We hope the Australian government will adopt an objective, rational and responsible attitude, think carefully about whether it sees China as a partner or threat, and do more in the interest of mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides. We also hope the Australian people from all walks of life can be clear-eyed to tell right from wrong, view China and its development in an objective light, reject certain Australians' smears against China, and show their understanding and support for China-Australia friendship and cooperation.

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