Scott Morrison and Kamala Harris talk China, climate change in phone call | Alds

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Scott Morrison and Kamala Harris talk China, climate change in phone call


Scott Morrison has discussed Australia and the US’ “shared interests in relation to China” during a phone call with US Vice President Kamala Harris.

The prime minister spoke with Ms Harris on Wednesday morning, when the pair reaffirmed the strength of Australia-US relations.

The pair discussed the countries’ “shared interests in relation to China”, according to a government official, after months of trade tensions between Canberra and Beijing.

“A pleasure to chat with VP Kamala Harris. We’ll strengthen our very strong alliance even further,” Mr Morrison tweeted on Wednesday.

RELATED: Prime Minister Scott Morrison holds first call with US President Joe Biden

Relations between China and Australia have deteriorated rapidly over the past year, and the Biden administration has made positive noises over its willingness to intervene on Australia’s behalf.

In December, now-US national security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the US would lobby the international community to rally around Canberra, after Beijing warned Australia would “pay the price” for siding with the US.

“As we have for a century, America will stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally Australia and rally fellow democracies to advance our shared security, prosperity and values,” he tweeted at the time.

Mr Morrison said he and Ms Harris also discussed strengthening the alliance on security, trade, and climate change during their phone call.

Labor has argued President Joe Biden’s election offered the government a chance to reset Australia’s stance on climate change.

The new President has reversed a number of Trump administration policies and committed to a net zero emissions target by 2050.

Mr Morrison has refused to commit to the target, but said his government wanted to reach net zero “as soon as possible”.

And with deaths from COVID-19 topping 500,000 in the US, the pair also discussed their respective responses.

The prime minister revealed in November his government would share its COVID-19 Contact Tracing Review with the incoming-administration.

“(Mr Biden) was very interested in Australia’s success and it’s obviously the top of his priority list,” Mr Morrison said at the time.

The Prime Minister has invited Mr Biden to visit on the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS Treaty, signed in April 1951.

He said Mr Biden was “enthusiastic” about the prospect.



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