China to help Pacific Islands with policing, not defence, says its ambassador to Australia

China to help Pacific Islands with policing, not defence, says its ambassador to Australia
China to help Pacific Islands with policing, not defence, says its ambassador to Australia

Hello and welcome to the details of China to help Pacific Islands with policing, not defence, says its ambassador to Australia and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Ambassador Xiao Qian says China has a strategy to help Pacific Island nations with policing, not defence, and its growing presence in the region should not alarm Australia. — AFP pic

SYDNEY, Jan 17 ― China has a strategy to help Pacific Island nations with policing, not defence, and its growing presence in the region should not alarm Australia, China's ambassador to Australia said today.

Ambassador Xiao Qian also told reporters that Nauru's decision this week to form diplomatic relations with China at the expense of Taiwan was “their own choice” and would not impact Australia's ties with Nauru, a tiny nation of 12,500 that uses the Australian currency.

Pacific neighbours Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing in 2019, with Solomon Islands later striking security and policing pacts with China that sparked alarm in Canberra and Washington.

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Xiao told reporters that Pacific Islands countries want to have political ties with China, sell products to the Chinese market, and receive investment and help from China in infrastructure, telecommunications and maintaining social order.

Security “is part of the relationship between China and Pacific Island countries, to help them to social stability,” he said.

“It is not a strategy for military security, its a strategy to help policing their nation for social stability and basic order,” Xiao said, adding that there was “no need for any so-called anxiety on the part of Australia”.

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Australia's ties with China have stabilised after a visit by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Beijing in November, the first in seven years by an Australian leader, and China wanted to further improve the relationship, Xiao said.

Defence was an area “we need to work harder on,” he said, also saying that China had lodged a diplomatic protest with Australia over its congratulations to Taiwan, which China claims as its own, over the election of a new president.

Ties between Australia and its largest trading partner China improved last year after China lifted trade blocks imposed in 2020 on a raft of Australian exports.

A Chinese review of large dumping tariffs on Australian wine continued, an embassy official told the press conference.

Xiao played down hopes of the swift release of detained Australian writer Yang Hengjun, saying his national security case was different to that of Australian journalist, Cheng Lei, who was released shortly before Albanese's visit to Beijing.

“I cannot expect the case will come to such a conclusion,” he said. ― Reuters

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