Amid alleged Chinese interference in Australian politics, Australia’s ambassador to the US Joe Hockey Thursday raised the mercury by saying Australia had to protect its democracy “even at cost” and likening China to a “client” that would not replace America as our business partner.
Addressing a business audience in Sydney, he said that Australia had a key role to play in helping China maintain its prosperity.
“We shouldn’t underestimate that, but at the same time we need to protect our democracy from whomever might be challenging it,’The Australian quoted him as saying.
Joe Hockey remarks could escalate the row when he called china as a client and USA as a long term business partner.
“We have a great relationship with our client, but they are not our business partner. They are not going to be our business partner. “They might want to invest in things we do from time to time — that’s fantastic. But at the end of the day we are not going to abandon our long-term business partner and shack up with our clients”, he remarked at the event.
Terming Australia-china ties as a commercial one Joe Hockey who served as treasurer in the Abbott government continued that Chinese leadership was “mature enough” to know that Australia was aligned with the US and that they did not want the US to leave the region.
He said that in our region we need to work together with others to protect their freedom and democracy. We cannot, cannot, cannot afford to sell our democracy to anyone. Anyone.”