United States raises concerns about China’s economic coercion of Australia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has raised concerns about China’s use of economic coercion against Australia.   

Mr Blinken spoke in Washington at a joint news conference with Australia’s Defence Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Marise Payne a day after the US and Britain said they would provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines. 

The deal replaces a French submarine deal with Australia. 

Australia and the US have also reached new force posture agreements that will see greater air cooperation through rotational deployments of all types of US military aircraft to Australia. 

Mr Blinken said the US would stand with Australia against pressure from China. 

“This is an unshakeable alliance,” he said. 

Ms Payne said the new Aukus alliance, which includes the United Kingdom, was well suited for countering coercion in the Indo-Pacific.

“We discussed the competition of China at a number of levels that requires us to respond and to increase resilience,” she said.

“This does not mean that there are not constructive areas for engagement with China.”

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