FM: We don’t seek to dictate to the Chinese

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Australia has dismissed concerns that its deepening military ties with the US could anger China.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said Australia would not have its security policy dictated by any external power.

“We don’t seek to dictate to the Chinese what their national security policy should be,” he told ABC News.

This week Australia revealed it had agreed to host a full US Marine task force by 2016, amid angry comment in Chinese state media.

The Global Times newspaper, which often runs bombastic commentary pieces, accused Australia of playing China for a fool.

The paper suggested it would be impossible for China to remain detached from an increased US presence in Australia, and said the move could harm relations between the two countries.

Mr Rudd dismissed those suggestions, saying Australia and China would continue to have a relationship based on “mutual respect”.

“Let’s just be very blunt about it, we are not going to have our national security policy dictated by any other external power. That’s a sovereign matter for Australia,” he said in an interview.

The announcement of a US Marine deployment was made during a short visit by US President Barack Obama this week.

During his trip, Mr Obama said the Asia-Pacific region was now a “top priority” of US security policy and pledged to help allies in the area.

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