Defence Minister Marise Payne has issued a coded but clear demand on China not to bully other countries that disagree with it.
In a speech to military and political leaders from Asia and the Pacific region on Saturday, Senator Payne will say that no one country can tear up the system of international rules – which she pointedly notes has let countries such as China grow and prosper peacefully.
In the speech to the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore, Senator Payne makes it clear Australia will continue calling out behaviour that tries unilaterally to change what Australia and its allies call “the rules-based order”.
While she doesn’t name China, Senator Payne makes thinly veiled references to China’s behaviour, making it apparent the Turnbull government means to keep pressing Beijing over issues such as the South China Sea and foreign interference even as it tries to improve the relationship after a rocky six months. Continue reading “Australia won’t bite its tongue, Defence Minister warns in clear signal to China”