Wed, 28 Jul 2021

Washington DC [US], May 14 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday reassured full support to Australia in the face of economic coercion by China, as Washington and Canberra mark the 70th anniversary of their alliance.

Addressing a joint presser with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Blinken said, "I reiterated that the United States will not leave Australia alone on the field, or maybe I should say alone on the pitch, in the face of economic coercion by China. That's what allies do.""We had a chance today to reaffirm our unshakeable commitment to the U.S.-Australia alliance, which has been an anchor for peace, security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific for decades," he added.

Tensions between China and Australia have escalated over a slew of issues which has now led to a point where the Chinese state-media with ballistic missile strikes if Canberra gets involved in a potential military conflict over Taiwan.

China, last week had suspended all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, a forum launched in 2014 and last convened in 2017. This decision comes a few weeks after Australia scrapped the controversial Belt and Road (BRI) agreement with China.

Speaking at the same presser along with Blinken, the Australian Foreign Minister said they seek a constructive relationship with China. "In our meeting today, we have, of course, discussed our relationships with China. And Australia seeks a constructive relationship with China. We stand ready at any time, amongst all of my counterparts and colleagues, to resume dialogue," said Marise Payne.

"But we have also been open and clear and consistent about the fact that we are dealing with a number of challenges. We welcome the clear expressions of support from Washington as Australia works through those differences. It is hard to think of a truer expression of friendship," she added.

Canberra has been locked in an ongoing trade war with Beijing for several months as China has slapped sanctions on various Australian products. (ANI)

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