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Australia doesn’t have to ‘choose’ China over the US: Martin Parkinson

Australia’s former top public servant, Martin Parkinson, says the Morrison government has poorly managed its communication of policies that have upset China, warning it has further inflamed tensions with the nation’s biggest trading partner.

The former head of Treasury and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet said Australia should not simplify the debate about the geo-strategic situation in the region, saying it was not a “choice” between the United States and China.

Former top public servant Martin Parkinson says Australia needs to better communicate its policies which have upset China.

Former top public servant Martin Parkinson says Australia needs to better communicate its policies which have upset China.Credit:Louie Douvis

Speaking at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia annual conference on Wednesday, Mr Parkinson said to simplify the debate on China as a choice was “actually really dangerous”.

“It implies we end up with two blocs and if we end up with two blocs we are heading toward a Cold War-type environment,” he said.

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