PM airs grievances with China at G7 session – Queensland Times

pm-airs-grievances-with-china-at-g7-session-–-queensland-times

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Scott Morrison raised China's list of 14 grievances against Australia in his private address to leaders on the final day of the G7 summit, setting-out "very clearly that there are differences in world view".

The Prime Minister said while the Chinese embassy's list of grievances was not a surprise to G7 leaders given recent tensions with Australia, "there was obviously a lot of interest about the reasons for that".

"And they may never be able to be resolved. But living with China, which is the goal, also requires us to be very clear about what our values are, what our principles are, how our countries are run. And how we will continue to run," Mr Morrison told The Australian.

Speaking before flying into London on Sunday night, Mr Morrison said Australia was not alone in sharing similar experiences with China, "particularly those who are more familiar with the region, who have had greater engagement with the region".

"There are European countries that have been through similar periods as Australia.

But the way through that is just to be patient," he said.

"Keep seeking what the ultimate goal is, to be consistent and clear and resolute in the positions that you hold but with the objective of getting to a point where we once again can engage in the dialogue and the partnership that we have in the past.

"But not at the cost or the price of any of the issues that were set out on those 14 points being conceded."

The G7 communique released at the end of the three-day summit in the Cornish seaside resort village of Carbis Bay called out China over poor behaviour including human rights abuses.

In brief comments before a bilateral meeting with Mr Morrison on Sunday, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said "the only difference in views (at the G7) was the intensity of the message to China", reflecting hesitation by some European nations in escalating tensions with Beijing.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison with other G7+ world leaders. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison with other G7+ world leaders. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Mr Morrison said some European nations had a "different perspective because of their geography".

"They have a different perspective because of their economies. We have a different perspective because we live in the Indo-Pacific and so our economies are integrated into the Indo Pacific differently to what they are in Europe."

"But that's changing rapidly. What I detected was an increasing and significant awareness of the impact of tensions in the Indo-Pacific for the broader global system and that in particular relates to Europe.

"There was a very high level of awareness and a very strong level of support for what has been a very consistent and clear stand that Australia has taken. Consistent with our democratic values which are shared by all of those who joined in the discussions these past few days."

Responding to comments made by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that a sensible person wouldn't discount that Covid-19 could have come from a lab, Mr Morrison said the second phase of the World Health Organisation into the origins of the pandemic was "already overdue".

"I can't tell you how it's sourced. I don't know. That's the point, we don't know and all the potential sources should be obviously understood. And for another reason so we know how we might be able to handle this better in the future."

Mr Morrison has supported a global early warning system to provide nations early advice at the onset of a pandemic and for the WHO to be handed weapons-inspector style powers.

It comes as the three-day summit in the Cornish seaside village of Carbis Bay concluded with G7 nations stating they would "promote our values" and call-out human rights.

"Including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law."

In brief comments before a bilateral meeting with Scott Morrison on Sunday, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said "the only difference in views was the intensity of the message to China", reflecting hesitation by some European nations in escalating tensions with Beijing.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison holds a bilateral meeting with President of the Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-In at the G7 in Cornwall. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison holds a bilateral meeting with President of the Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-In at the G7 in Cornwall. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Mr Morrison - invited by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to attend the summit as a plus member - delivered a major speech to G7 leaders on Sunday at a closed session on open societies and economies, where he was expected to outline Australia's experience as it deals with China's economic coercion.

The communique fell short of calling out some of China's aggressive behaviour but said G7 nations would "consult on collective approaches to challenging non-market policies and practices which undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy".

"We recognise the particular responsibility of the largest countries and economies in upholding the rules-based international system and international law."

The G7 communique also said the World Health Organisation must launch a new "timely, transparent, expert-led and science-based" phase two investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic in China, supporting greater accountability for countries to report and respond to outbreaks of unknown origin.

Ahead of US President Joe Biden's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday and a key NATO summit in Brussels on Monday, the G7 statement said Russia must stop its "destabilising behaviour and malign activities".

Speaking to media ahead of travelling to Windsor to meet with the Queen, Mr Biden said he agreed with Mr Putin that US-Russia relations were at a "low point".

"It depends on how he responds to acting consistent with international norms, which in many cases he has not. As I told him when I was running and when I got elected, that I was going to find out whether or not he did engage in trying to interfere with our election. That was going to take a look at whether he was involved in the cyber security breaches that occurred," Mr Biden said.

The G7 communique said Russia must stop interfering in other countries' democratic systems and to fulfil its international human rights obligations and commitments".

"In particular, we call on Russia to urgently investigate and credibly explain the use of a chemical weapon on its soil, to end its systematic crackdown on independent civil society and media, and to identify, disrupt, and hold to account those within its borders who conduct ransomware attacks, abuse virtual currency to launder ransoms, and other cybercrimes."

Mr Biden said the G7 was committed to helping meet the nearly $40 trillion need for infrastructure in the developing world.

"I put forward an idea that was called Build Back Better World Partnership. The point is what's happening is that China has its belt and road initiative and we think there's a much more equitable way to provide for the needs of countries around the world.

"It's a values driven, high standard, transparent financing mechanism we're going to provide and support projects in four key areas: climate, health, digital technology and gender equity."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends the G7 family photo along with other G7+ world leaders at the Carbis Bay Estate. Photo: Adam Taylor/PMO

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends the G7 family photo along with other G7+ world leaders at the Carbis Bay Estate. Photo: Adam Taylor/PMO

PM: AUSTRALIA NEEDS TO BE PART OF CHANGING ENERGY ECONOMY

Scott Morrison is selling his hydrogen and low-emissions technologies climate change strategy to world leaders, sealing new partnerships with Japan and Germany on the sidelines of the G7 summit.

Mr Morrison and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Sunday announced they were in lockstep in their shared ambition to "achieve decarbonisation and a net zero emissions future".

The Prime Minister and German chancellor Angela Merkel also announced a new hydrogen compact following their bilateral meeting, building on an agreement signed last year to investigate supply chains between the countries on hydrogen produced from renewable energy.

Mr Morrison said he was promoting Australia's "position and our performance and our achievement in reducing emissions" to other world leaders.

"Australia has a strong record of achievement. Performance matters as much as what one's ambition is and our ambitions will be realised and will be met and they'll be exceeded. Our commitments out to 2030 are a floor on our ambition, not a ceiling," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison, who is expected to announce new climate partnerships when he meets British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London on Tuesday, was invited to take part in a G7-plus summit session on climate and nature on Sunday afternoon.

G7 leaders have agreed to launch a new partnership on infrastructure investment and increase international climate finance to "propel global green economic growth"

The G7 communique was expected to endorse a Nature Compact to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, with the British government setting-up a Blue Planet Fund to "protect the ocean and marine biodiversity". The G7 summit was also likely to resolve to commit to almost halve their emissions by 2030 relative to 2010.

Despite pressure from Mr Johnson and US President Joe Biden for Australia to do more, Mr Morrison said his emissions reduction policies would be set in the national interest.

"I will listen carefully but it will also be the opportunity for me to be clear that Australia's performance on emissions reduction has been very strong," he said.

"Performance should count as much as ambition. Australia's performance makes clear that when we make a commitment, we keep it and we deliver on it. And I think that ambition is very important - that is why I've said what I've said in terms of what we would hope to achieve in terms of a net zero or carbon neutral economy.

"We understand, as does the rest of the world, that the energy economy is going to change dramatically over the next 30 years and Australia intends to be part of that. And not just part of it but being incredibly successful in it. Australia has played a huge role in being an energy provider into the Asia Pacific region for a very long time."

Joe Biden at the meeting with Scott Morrison and unexpected attendee Boris Johnson. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Joe Biden at the meeting with Scott Morrison and unexpected attendee Boris Johnson. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Mr Johnson said "there is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth".

"As democratic nations we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system," Mr Johnson said.

In a joint statement following Mr Morrison's breakfast with Mr Suga, Australia and Japan said they considered a technology-led response as being critical to "reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also ensuring economic growth and job creation".

"Japan and Australia commit to jointly support initiatives that will help drive the transitions to net zero emissions," the statement said.

"We take on to increase our joint focus on lower emissions LNG production, transport and use; clean fuel ammonia, clean hydrogen and derivatives produced from renewable energy or from fossil fuels with substantial carbon capture, utilisation and storage; carbon capture utilisation and storage; carbon recycling; and low emissions steel and iron ore."

The statement said Japan and Australia would "provide financial support, as appropriate, to advance initiatives that will contribute to the development and deployment of low and zero emissions technologies".

"We commit to collaborate on the development of initiatives that would leverage funding from other sources, including subnational governments and the private sector."

The Australian-German hydrogen accord announced on Sunday will include joint-investment in projects to support economic growth and jobs, while driving down emissions.

Mr Morrison last Thursday signed a $30m partnership with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to fast-track low emissions fuels and technologies, like clean energy.

SURPRISE GUEST AS MORRISON MEETS BIDEN AT G7

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met US President Joe Biden for the first time, sitting down for a discussion on the sidelines of the ongoing G7 summit.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also made a surprise appearance at the meeting, which was held behind closed doors at the seaside resort town of Carbis Bay, near Cornwall.

The historic meeting brought together three wartime allies to discuss escalating instability in the Indo-Pacific and the need to work more closely in response to regional and global threats.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had an unexpected trilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the G7 Leaders meeting in Cornwall. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had an unexpected trilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the G7 Leaders meeting in Cornwall. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

The historic meeting took place behind closed doors. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

The historic meeting took place behind closed doors. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Though reporters were not present at the meeting and the details of the discussions unclear, the three leaders released a joint statement afterwards that hinted that China would have been one of the topics of conversation.

"They discussed a number of issues of mutual concern, including the Indo-Pacific region," the statement said.

"They agreed that the strategic context in the Indo-Pacific was changing and that there was a strong rationale for deepening co-operation between the three governments.

"They welcomed the forthcoming visits and exercises in the Indo-Pacific by the Carrier Strike Group, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth."

The talks ran for up to 45 minutes after originally being slated for 20 minutes.

Mr Morrison and Mr Biden walked up to the G7 family photo after the meeting.

The Indo-Pacific step-up, Beijing's economic coercion of countries including Australia and increasing disinformation and cyber campaigns linked to China and Russia has been a key focus at the G7-plus leaders' summit in the Cornish seaside resort village of Carbis Bay.

Following the Australia-US-UK meeting, Mr Morrison described the talks as a "unique opportunity for a trilateral meeting".

"That is not a usual opportunity that we've had at these events in the past," Mr Morrison said.

"We had an opportunity today to discuss the Indo-Pacific situation more broadly. Australia has no greater friends than the United States and the United Kingdom and we've been working together on our respective security issues for a very long time.

"We had a good opportunity to talk about those and look to see how we can further co-operate in the future. The situation only reinforces the need for us to have deeper co-operation."

Mr Morrison said the G7 summit was a "great opportunity for liberal democracies and advanced economies alike to be able to align their thinking and their outlooks on how they're seeing issues around the world".

The Prime Minister said Australia's handling of the Chinese economic relationship was based on being "consistent".

"We are for a stable and peaceful and open Indo-Pacific. That's in everybody's interests. It's in Australia's interests, it's in China's interests. And for the free trade that can occur throughout the region," he said.

Mr Morrison, who confirmed climate change was not the subject of their discussions, on Saturday night said Australia's alliance with the US and UK has never been stronger.

"It was a meeting of great friends and allies who share a view on the world. It was a great opportunity for my first meeting of course with the President. I've known Boris for many years.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays a wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice in remembrance of eight Royal Australian Air Force servicemen who died during World War II and are buried in St Illogan Churchyard in Cornwall, United Kingdom on Saturday June 12, 2021. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays a wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice in remembrance of eight Royal Australian Air Force servicemen who died during World War II and are buried in St Illogan Churchyard in Cornwall, United Kingdom on Saturday June 12, 2021. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

"And there was a very easy understanding among the three of us. As liberal democracies with a great history of friendship and partnership and a shared view on the world and its challenges, and strategic challenges at that. We are very conscious of the environment we face but whatever that environment is we'll always face it together.

"Our alliance with the United States, our alliance with the United Kingdom has never been stronger."

Mr Johnson had earlier formally welcomed Mr Morrison to the G7 in a beach ceremony, alongside other G7-plus members South Korea and South Africa.

Mr Morrison, who met with South Korean president Moon Jae-in at Tregenna Castle on Saturday morning before speaking at a G7 health and pandemic preparedness session, will meet with Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and German chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday.

Mr Morrison's first in-person meeting with Mr Biden was initially intended to focus on ramping-up land force co-operation, the joint development of critical technologies, as well as climate change, new energy technologies and cyber threats.

Mr Johnson, who will hold one-on-one talks at Downing Street with Mr Morrison on Tuesday, has dramatically ramped-up Britain's military presence in the Indo-Pacific, including sending naval carrier strike group led by aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on a 28-week maiden voyage including movements through the South China Sea and Philippine Sea.

Australia and the US will progress plans to align their strategic approach in the Indo-Pacific later this year when Defence Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Marise Payne meet with their counterparts Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken at the upcoming AUSMIN meeting.

'AMERICA IS BACK'

The G7 on Saturday unveiled US-led plans to counter China in infrastructure funding for poorer nations, and a new accord to battle future pandemics, as the elite group advertised Western unity at its first in-person summit since 2019.

US President Joe Biden touted a message of revived American leadership on his first foreign tour, declaring "America is back" after the tumultuous administration of Donald Trump.

"We're on the same page," Biden told reporters as he met French President Emmanuel Macron on the summit sidelines, pushing to rally the West against a resurgent China and recalcitrant Russia.

Asked if other G7 leaders agreed with him about a US diplomatic renaissance, Biden pointed to Macron, who replied: "Definitely."

Promising to "collectively catalyse" hundreds of billions of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries, the G7 leaders said they would offer a "values-driven, high-standard and transparent" partnership.

Their "Build Back Better World" (B3W) project is aimed squarely at competing with China's trillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, which has been widely criticised for saddling small countries with unmanageable debt but has included even G7 member Italy since launching in 2013.

"This is not just about confronting or taking on China," a senior US official said.

"This is about providing an affirmative, positive alternative vision for the world."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose nation has huge investments in China, called it an "important initiative" that was much-needed in infrastructure-poor Africa.

"We can't sit back and say that China will do it but it's the G7's ambition to have a positive agenda for a number of countries in the world which are still lagging behind … I welcome it," she said.

Britain meanwhile hailed G7 agreement on the "Carbis Bay Declaration" - a series of commitments to curb future pandemics after Covid-19 wrecked economies and claimed millions of lives around the world.

The collective steps include slashing the time taken to develop and license vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for any future disease to under 100 days, while reinforcing global surveillance networks.

The G7 - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - will formally publish the pact on Sunday, alongside its final summit communique containing further details on the B3W.

SCOTT MORRISON BACKS GLOBAL PANDEMIC WARNING SYSTEM

It comes as Scott Morrison said he will support a global early warning system at the onset of pandemics and reform of the World Health Organisation in his first major address to the G7 summit in Cornwall.

The Prime Minister on Saturday also declared more "work" needed to be done to determine the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, and whether it had natural origins or may have leaked from a lab.

Mr Morrison, who will attend a G7 leaders' summit session to discuss the pandemic, said "it's very important that we understand the origins and there has already been discussion around our preparedness for any future pandemic that the world can move quickly on issues like vaccines".

"But equally, it's important that we have an early warning system, that we have a way of being able to alert the world to when these types of viruses originate so we can move quickly. Australia moved quickly and we shut our borders," Mr Morrison said.

"Having that opportunity to be able to identify these pandemics at their very early onset and to be able to take very quick action, relying on very good and reliable information. This is the key lesson out of this pandemic."

Mr Morrison said the purpose of the Covid-19 origins inquiries had nothing to do with "politics or frankly blame".

"It's about understanding it so we all on a future occasion can move quickly and can avoid on a future occasion the absolute carnage that we've seen from this pandemic," he said.

"What I'm simply saying is the process we called for is not yet done, it is recommending further work. And recommending that there be further powers for the WHO to be able to identify these things early, and ensure that information is passed on in a timely way."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays a wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice in remembrance of eight Royal Australian Air Force servicemen who died during World War II and are buried in St Illogan Churchyard in Cornwall. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays a wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice in remembrance of eight Royal Australian Air Force servicemen who died during World War II and are buried in St Illogan Churchyard in Cornwall. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

The Prime Minister, who will hold a series of bilateral meetings on Saturday including his first in-person talks with US President Joe Biden, was due to speak at a leaders' session on health, the pandemic and future preparedness.

Mr Morrison was expected to tell G7 leaders Australia's pursuit of a suppression strategy had supported the nation's health response and economic recovery.

He will also raise vaccine certificates with G7 leaders and the need for an integrated system as nations look to reopen international borders. Following a meeting between Mr Morrison and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday, the pair outlined a digital vaccine framework to help facilitate a travel bubble between Australia and Singapore.

Mr Morrison will support the independent Covid-19 review into the origins of the pandemic and highlight Australia's role in the vaccination rollout in the Indo-Pacific region, the country's backing of the COVAX facility and its 20 million vaccine pledge backing Boris Johnson's G7 vaccine dose sharing initiative.

Mr Morrison, who was due to take-part in a G7-plus leaders' family photo early Sunday morning, would also endorse the G7's collective effort to bolster defences on international health security risks and reform agenda for the World Health Organisation.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lands in the United Kingdom ahead of the G7 Summit in Cornwall. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lands in the United Kingdom ahead of the G7 Summit in Cornwall. Picture: Adam Taylor/PMO

G7 leaders on Saturday will sign-up to the Carbis Bay Declaration on Health, with Britain pledging to establish a new centre to develop vaccines to prevent zoonotic diseases spreading from animals to humans. G7 countries will make a major statement on medical supply chains, focused on personal protective equipment and vaccines.

The G7 nations will commit to combining resources to prevent a global pandemic from re-occurring on the scale of Covid-19 and setting-up an early warning system.

Mr Johnson said "to truly defeat coronavirus and recover we need to prevent a pandemic like this from ever happening again".

"That means learning lessons from the last 18 months and doing it differently next time around. I am proud that for the first time today the world's leading democracies have come together to make sure that never again will we be caught unawares," Mr Johnson said.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom supported the Carbis Bay health declaration, and said it was crucial to "build on the significant scientific and collaborative response to the COVID-19 pandemic and find common solutions to address many of the gaps identified".

"To this end WHO welcomes and will take forward the UK's proposal for a Global Pandemic Radar. As we discussed, the world needs a stronger global surveillance system to detect new epidemic and pandemic risks," he said.

Mr Morrison on Saturday held his first bilateral meeting on the G7 sidelines with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, inviting the avid hiker to visit Australia.

"Our countries have come through Covid incredibly well. I commend your strong leadership in South Korea both in suppressing and containing the virus but also on the very strong economic performance.

"Both Australia and South Korea have come through Covid to date with stronger economies than before the pandemic while at the same time having considerably relative success in suppressing the virus and its devastating health impact on our communities."

G7 nations, led by Mr Biden, are expected to collectively pushback against China's aggressive behaviour and economic coercion of countries including Australia when the final communique is released. Asked about US and Australian naval vessels sailing together through the South China Sea on Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said "we hope relevant countries can do more to promote regional peace and stability, rather than flex muscles".

- with Anton Nilsson

Originally published as PM airs grievances with China at G7 session

As we move on to the next post, may I add that geoFence is easy to use, easy to maintain and that's no lie!