WASHINGTON, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will discuss a range of issues, including China and ongoing US talks with North Korea, during the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in California on Monday and Tuesday, a senior State Department official said Thursday.
“We’ll be discussing China, where we are seeking to advance a very pragmatic but principled relationship with China that takes into account their helpfulness on certain core international issues, including the DPRK, while still holding Beijing to account for violations of international law and norms when that occurs,” the official said during a background briefing to preview the gathering.
“We’ll continue to be talking about how we promote trade that is free, fair and reciprocal, specifically with regard to China, and make sure that we can do our best to ensure that China aligns itself with these fundamental principles that we have,” the official said.
The US and Australia have shared views on “the importance of getting China to stop its theft and forced transfer of intellectual property and to get it to adhere to higher standards for the protection of intellectual property,” the official said. “This is a core concern for any advanced country, and it’s certainly a core concern for Australia and the United States.” Participants will discuss “threats and opportunities throughout the Indo-Pacific region and globally,” the official said.
The US has been working closely with Australia in Iraq and Syria “for some time now, where we seek the total defeat of ISIS,” the official said, referring to the so-called Islamic State. “We’re going to use AUSMIN to coordinate closely on policies that can help us defeat that radical group and other means to intercept foreign terrorist fighters and counter violent extremism, while we work to help rebuild and stabilize vulnerable areas such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.” The US will be hosting Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister for Defense Marise Payne at the gathering.
US officials will coordinate with Australia “to promote the rules-based order, effective governance, free and fair reciprocal trade, high-standard principles, infrastructure in the region, encouraging private-sector-led growth, and ensuring that we have appropriate development and connectivity projects throughout the region that meet high international standards,” the official said.
Source: Kuwait News Agency