‘Answer To Almost Every Question About China Is India’: Australia’s Tony Abbott
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‘Answer To Almost Every Question About China Is India’: Australia’s Tony Abbott

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Abbott stressed that Australia needed drastically to move away from China. As the Australian prime minister, Abbott oversaw a bilateral free trade deal with China, which took effect in 2015 and also hosted a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping a year before that

A free trade agreement between India and Australia would be an important sign of the “democratic world’s tilt away from China”, Australian special trade envoy Tony Abbott said on Monday. In an opinion piece in The Australian newspaper, Abbott said the “answer to almost every question about China is India.” “With the world’s other emerging superpower becoming more belligerent almost by the day, it’s in everyone’s interests that India take its rightful place among the nations as quickly as possible,” Abbott, who visited India last week, wrote.

“Because trade deals are about politics as much as economics, a swift deal between India and Australia would be an important sign of the democratic world’s tilt away from China, as well as boosting the long-term prosperity of both our countries,” he added.

As Australia’s prime minister, Abbott oversaw a bilateral free trade deal with China, which took effect in 2015 and also hosted a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping a year before that. However, after Australia banned Chinese telecom giant Huawei from major communications infrastructure projects and called for an independent probe into the origins of the Coronavirus, ties between Beijing and Canberra have soured.

Abbott, also a former prime minister, stressed that Australia needed drastically to move away from Beijing and argued that India was a “natural partner” to his country. “India and Australia are like-minded democracies whose relationship had been underdeveloped, at least until Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister,” he said.

“India and Australia are like-minded democracies whose relationship had been under-developed, at least until Narendra Modi became India’s Prime Minister. Under Modi, India has revived the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, and the first in-person Quad summit is expected before the end of the year,” he said.

“Under Modi, India has invited Australia to join the annual Malabar naval exercises that will soon involve India, the United States, Japan, Australia and also the United Kingdom’s visiting carrier strike group led by the Royal Navy’s new flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth. It will be an impressive show of strength, demonstrating the democracies’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added.

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