‘lose-lose’:-albo’s-blunt-warning-to-china

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has issued a blunt warning to China that it “needs to come to terms with Australia’s standing up for values” just hours after attending Buckingham Palace with the Chinese delegation.

King Charles and Queen Camilla hosted a two-hour state reception for 500 dignitaries overnight on the eve of the Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral amid controversy in Britain.

Speaking on the BBC, Mr Albanese said for the relationship to improve, China needed to accept Australia’s point of view.

“Australia must always stand up for our values and we’ll continue to do that, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have an economic relationship with China,’’ he said.

“So what I want to see is that we will co-operate with China where we can, but we will stand up for Australian values where we must, and that is something that China needs to come to terms with.”

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He described the current economic sanctions in place as “lose-lose”.

“There are sanctions currently against Australian imports into China,’’ he said.

“I see that as very much a lose-lose situation. It hurts the Australian economy and Australian jobs, but it also hurts China to deprive itself of Australian wine, Australian meat, Australian barley, Australian products that are in my opinion at least as good if not better than anywhere else in the world.

“So to me it is counter-productive. We want good relationships, but we also need to be able to and will continue to speak out for our values, democracy and the rule of law.”

A group of British legislators sanctioned by China have written to officials expressing concerns that the Chinese government has been invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

Conservative Tim Loughton told the BBC last week that the invitation to China should be rescinded, based on the country’s human rights abuses and treatment of Uyghurs.

In July, Mr Albanese warned Australia “doesn’t respond to demands”, after China listed four ways the relationship between the two countries could be improved.

“We respond to our own national interest,” he said.

It followed China warning that the “root cause” of the friction with the Morrison government was the portrayal of China as an “opponent” or a “threat”.

“First, stick to regarding China as a partner rather than a rival. Second, stick to the way we get along with each other, which features seeking common ground while reserving differences. Third, stick to not targeting any third party or being controlled by any third party. Fourth, stick to building positive and pragmatic social foundations and public support,” Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said.

At the time, Mr Albanese said Australia will “co-operate with China where we can”.

“I want to build good relations with all countries, but we will stand up for Australia’s interests when we must,” he said.

Mr Albanese attended the Buckingham Palace reception overnight with his partner Jodie Haydon, the governor-general David Hurley and his wife Linda.

US president Joe Biden was in attendance with his wife, as well as hundreds of world leaders and diplomats.

The Queen’s state funeral will be held tonight.

At 7.44pm AEST the Queen’s coffin will make an 8-minute journey from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace

At 8pm AEST the funeral service begins. Around 2,000 people are expected to attend including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, his partner Jodie Haydon and 10 “everyday Australians”.

The funeral service will end at 9pm before the Queen’s coffin will begin its last journey through London and arrive at Wellington Arch at 10pm AEST.

The Royal family will follow the Queen’s Coffin in procession. A smaller service will then be held inside St George’s Chapel with around 800 guests.

 

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