TOKYO — Australia wants to hash out its disputes with China through dialogue, but is willing to be “patient,” Canberra’s trade minister said in an exclusive interview.
“What I’d like to do is be able to sit down and work through these issues,” said Dan Tehan, who took on the trade, tourism and investment portfolio late last year as China-Australia ties swiftly deteriorated.
Tehan was visiting Japan as part of a tour including Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea and the U.S., aiming to strengthen Australia’s other trading relationships and reduce dependence on China, its No. 1 partner. But when it comes to dealing with Beijing, he stressed the need to talk.
“The best way you can work on the differences is through dialogue,” he told Nikkei Asia on Saturday, emphasizing that he wants to maintain “our very strong trading relationship with China.”
Beijing has reportedly snubbed such overtures from Tehan before, and the minister said he hoped the lines of communication would open “sooner rather…