Arthur Sinodinos expects Biden to hold tough stance on China

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Arthur Sinodinos has hailed new US President Joe Biden’s stance on US-China relations, saying it was on track to be “consistent with where we’ve been”.

Mr Sinodinos was one of a select crowd of dignitaries invited to Joe Biden’s scaled-back inauguration ceremony at the Capitol. During the confirmation hearing, Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, said they won’t be relaxing their tough stance on China.

“As we look at China, there is no doubt that it poses the most significant challenge of any nation state to the United States,” Mr Blinken said in his Senate confirmation hearing.

“We have to start by approaching China from a position of strength, not weakness.”

Ambassador of Australia to the US Arthur Sinodinos and his wife Elizabeth at the 59th presidential inauguration in Washington DC. Picture: Twitter

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Sinodinos welcomed the move by the Biden administration, expected the US government to be “quite strategic” and to continue to support Australia.

“The overall stance from Blinken’s comments and other things that we’ve heard is going to be pretty strong and pretty consistent with where we’ve been,” Mr Sinodinos said.

“On China, what’s happened here in the US, both with the Democrats and the Republicans, in the political establishment as a whole … they’ve been mugged by reality.

“What we all thought was going to happen to China hasn’t happened. It’s taken a more authoritarian turn. And so the system here has now become more focused on the emergence of China in a negative way and the need to compete with China.”

Arthur Sinodinos. Photo: The Greek Herald.

Mr Sinodinos added that he expects the strong relationship with the Trump administration to transmission with the new government leadership.

“If I look at the relationship between Australia and the US, we did well under the (former) administration, avoided some of the things that perhaps happened to other countries,” he said.

“We were able to advance on a number of our agendas. I think we gave them a bit of a lead on China and they appreciate that without being sort of, you know, arrogant about it.

“I think we actually led on that in many ways with some of the actions we took early on in relation to China.”

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