President Donald Trump treated Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison to a lavish White House visit on Friday, Sept. 20, celebrating their countries’ “unbreakable bond,” but their hot topic was China.

This was only the second state-level visit to the White House granted under Trump and the first for an Australian premier since John Howard in 2006.

However the reason is probably the new front Trump and Morrison are opening to counter China. Australia has a comprehensive strategic partnership with Beijing.

During the press conference before a bilateral meeting on Sept. 20, President Trump asserted, “We’re talking about China all the time. And Scott has very strong opinions on China.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison threw Australian support behind President Trump in a bid to counter China by saying, “We have a great relationship with China. China’s growth has been great for Australia. But we need to make sure that we all compete on the same playing field.”

“And this is something that United States and Australia have been very consistent on, that we need to move into this new world where economies are changing, China is a big economy—not as big as the United States, but it’s a big economy. And that means we’ve all got to get on the same page with how the rules work. And that’s what we’re working to achieve,” Morrison added.

President Trump continued, “Obviously, China is a threat to the world in a sense, because they’re building a military faster than anybody. And, frankly, they’re using U.S. money. Presidents before me have allowed China to take out $500 billion a year, and it’s really more than that. They’ve allowed China to steal our intellectual property and property rights. And I’m not doing that.”

President Donald J. Trump speaks with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison following their remarks at the official state visit welcome ceremony on Sept. 20, 2019, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Andrea Hanks/Official White House Photo)

Not looking for a partial deal with China

During a joint press conference on Friday, President Donald Trump said that only a “complete” deal with China on trade will be acceptable and his tough approach won support from visiting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“I’m not looking for a partial deal. I’m looking for a complete deal,” Trump told reporters during a joint news conference with Morrison at the White House.

Morrison said he backed the U.S. push to force China to reform on issues that include routine violations of foreign companies’ intellectual property.

“We need to make sure that we all compete on the same playing field,” he said. China can’t have “special rules.”

Morrison said he wants to see a U.S.-China deal, but “what is necessary is [that] deals have got to be fair.” The prime minister said, “Deals have got to be good deals, deals have got to be sustainable deals.”

He also said he isn’t worried about being caught in the crossfire of the trade war, citing nearly three decades of sustained economic growth.

“We’ve diversified our trade base and have been doing that for many years,” Morrison added.

President Donald J. Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison review an honor guard parade at the state visit arrival on Sept. 20, 2019, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Shealah Craighead/Official White House Photo)

The Chinese regime’s harassment of Australia

Australia has the courage to support U.S.-led democratic international order against Chinese imperialism. President Trump was thus right to invite Prime Minister Scott Morrison to the second state dinner of his presidency, according to Washington Examiner.

The Examiner also shed a light of the Chinese regime’s harassment of Australia.

In February, Chinese intelligence officers launched a serious cyberattack on the Australian Parliament. They deny it, of course, but they are lying. And this is only the start. China is waging an increasingly aggressive economic pressure campaign against Canberra. Beijing is furious about Australia’s blocking of China’s spy firm Huawei and Australia’s increasingly overt alignment with U.S. military operations in the Indo-Pacific. And just as China is putting the pressure on Australia today, it is offering generous economic investments if Australia chooses to turn its back on America tomorrow.