China hopes to improve ties with Australia under new leadership

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Beijing, Aug 25 (IANS) China said it hopes to work with the new Australian government to get bilateral ties back on track, authorities said on Saturday.

Scott Morrison was sworn in as new Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister of Australia on Friday after an internal ballot and days of chaos leading to the ouster of Malcolm Turnbull, reports Efe news.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Beijing has kept a consistent and clear position on developing ties with Australia, adding that healthy and stable bilateral ties are in line with the interests of the people of both countries and help peace and prosperity of the region and world.

On Thursday, Australia banned Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE from providing equipment for the country’s 5G mobile network over national security concerns.

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Although the government did not explicitly name the businesses, Huawei Australia confirmed the companies had been banned, saying the decision was “extremely disappointing”, while in Beijing, Lu said China was deeply concerned.

Australia is also a firm opponent to Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, and the government is undertaking a review of its espionage laws amid concerns of Chinese influence and interference, among other issues.

–IANS

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