Worsening ties with Australia, Japan seen as obstacle for China


China’s worsening relationship with Australia and Japan is an obstacle to its foreign policy goal of building stronger ties with Asean and the Asia-Pacific (Apac) region, an adviser to its Cabinet said yesterday.

The “lack in one major dimension… (of) China’s relationship with the most major of United States allies in the Apac region – Japan and Australia” – can cause the results of China’s foreign policy goals to be “far from what Beijing might expect”, said Dr Shi Yinhong.

He was delivering the concluding address at the annual Straits Times Global Outlook Forum held online.

The South China Sea dispute is another factor that stands in the way of a better China-Asean relationship, he added.

“Disputes and occasionally low-intensity conflict over the South China Sea will continue as before,” said Dr Shi, who is also director of the Academic Committee of the School of International Studies and US Research Centre of Renmin University of China.

He said that China’s foreign relations policy priorities this year will be to work on its relationship with the US and Asean.