Australia’s sovereignty is non-negotiable despite China trade threats: Foreign minister

skynews– Australia Foreign Minister Marise Payne says Australia is not to blame for the worsening tensions between Beijing and Canberra, telling Sky News the government is within its rights to assert Australia’s sovereignty. The relationship between Beijing and Canberra has intensified throughout 2020, after Australia was the first country to call for an independent, international inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 inquiry. After Australia led the charge for the inquiry, Beijing quickly began levying punitive trade sanctions against Australia. Beijing first introduced tariffs against Australia’s barley before banning particular beef abattoirs, and then extending bans and tariffs to wine, timber, and now coal. Ms Paryne told Sky News anchor Danica De Giorgio Australia has been “Australia in a very clam, and considered and consistent manner, set out the reasons that we take and the decisions we take, which are about protecting Australia’s national interests, which are focused on Australia’s national security “None of which we will compromise. “That is a respectful approach to our relationship (with China). “But our sovereignty is primary, it is our absolute priority, our national interest is our absolute focus and that is what I think Australians want from their national government.”

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