Australia will not be deputy sheriff in US-China tensions, Morrison declares

By Rob Harris and Anthony Galloway

November 23, 2020 — 8.00pm

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia’s pursuit of its national interests on the world stage has been wrongly interpreted as siding with the United States over China, declaring his government will not make a “binary choice” between the superpowers.

In fresh attempts to thaw the frosty relationship between Canberra and Beijing, Mr Morrison used a speech to a British think tank to declare the most significant geopolitical challenge of the future would be dealing with the complexities of tensions between the world’s largest economic and military powers.

PM Scott Morrison: "We are not, and have never been, in the economic containment camp on China."

PM Scott Morrison: “We are not, and have never been, in the economic containment camp on China.”CREDIT:JOE ARMAO

Mr Morrison said it was wrong to describe the strategic competition between Washington and Beijing as a new Cold War, with the world no longer divided into two blocs with their own economic realm.

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