“China doesn’t respect weakness.” Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told Fairfax Media.
“The freedom of the skies and freedom of the seas in that part of the world is important to us because that’s where the majority of our trade is done,” Bishop said.
Bishop also explained that unilateral actions from China affected Australia like in the case of declaring Air Defence Information Zone (ADIZ) in East China Sea. “Our national carrier Qantas suddenly had to inform Beijing even if it wasn’t flying anywhere near.”
“So I believed that, at that time, we had to make it clear where we stood on unilateral action that could be seen as coercive and could be seen to – and which did – affect our national interests.”
“And so all we do and say supports those values we have on the economic front, and our values as an open liberal democracy committed to rule of law, committed to freedoms and committed to international norms,” she said.
“So, when something affects our national interest then we should make it very clear about where we stand.”
Julie Bishop made it clear that Australia will stand up to China to defend peace, liberal values and the rule of law.
“This is a debate that the US will have to have about its role in the world. It is currently the only super power with the military capability to act globally and the US must determine whether it’s going to continue in that role. I believe that it must, and it will,” Foregin Minister Bishop said.