Sat, 09 Dec 2023

CANBERRA, Australia: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed his support of a joint statement by the Group of Seven (G7) nations made in Japan, which affirmed the need to reduce the group's reliance on trade with China.

Over the weekend the G7 nations, which consider China to be a growing economic and security threat, issued a communique from Hiroshima, Japan, that stressed "de-risking" rather than "decoupling" their economic relations with China, the world's second largest economy.

While attending a meeting of leaders of the US, Japan, India and Australia, a group known as the Quad, on the sidelines of the summit in Hiroshima, Albanese said, "I support the G7 communiques about the international relations that we have there."

Australia had "for some time" expressed concern about China's activities, he added, noting the "chafing" of an Australian aircraft in May 2022 by a Chinese fighter aircraft in the South China Sea.

"We have expressed concern in the past, we'll continue to do so. What we need to do is to make sure we work in a way that enhances the peace, security and stability in the region," Albanese said.

The Chinese foreign ministry has said Beijing firmly opposes the G7 statement, and complained to Japan for organizing the summit.

Appearing to target China, the Quad said they sought a region "where no country dominates and no country is dominated."

Albanese's comments come amid a recent improvement in Australia-China relations, with China set to resume imports of Australian timber, and discussions are ongoing about a possible visit by Albanese to Beijing.

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