Television Interview, CNBC

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The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

02 6277 7800

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3 June 2024


HOST, LIN LIN: Meantime, Australia's Defence Minister, Richard Marles, also talked about the country's ties with China. Here is a slice of our first on CNBC conversation.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, RICHARD MARLES: Firstly, you know, Australia values a constructive relationship with China and we have been seeking to stabilise our relationship with China and we've seen real progress in that and we really greatly appreciate it. And, as I say, what we want is the maintenance of a rules based order in this region, but around the world of course, but in this region which has been so important to driving enormous economic growth in the region which has benefited both China and Australia. China is a great power. I mean, we look to China to act responsibly and we look to China to be a country which does maintain that rules based order, and that's really been our message to the world. We see China has done so much to contribute to the growth and the economic prosperity of this region and Australia as well, but the rules based order must be maintained.

LIN: How would you characterise the China Australia relationship now? What is the biggest takeaway after the last few years, after many had characterised a campaign of economic coercion coming from Beijing?

MARLES: Well, I think we stabilised the relationship and that's a lot of effort on the part of Australia, but China as well. But there are security anxieties in the relationship and there's no point in hiding that. And so the way we describe this is obviously cooperating where we can, but disagreeing where we must. And there are times where we do disagree and we need to speak plainly and clearly about that and mentioned earlier about the need for interactions between our two militaries to happen in a manner which is safe and professional. That has been something that has been of concern to us. But the fact that we are able to meet and talk is a very, very different world to what it was two years ago when that first started happening again. And so we can take some optimism from that.


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