Australia, China urged to ease tensions

·1-min read

Mining magnate Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest is confident Australia can emerge from its trade and diplomatic deep freeze with China if the two countries "sort it out like adults".

The chair of Fortescue Metals Group, who is one of Australia's richest people, believes the alternative is unthinkable.

"Both countries need to realise they need each other," he told the National Press Club on Thursday.

"I would say take it behind closed doors, let's all sort it out as adults and let's remove the seemingly unproductive issues between us."

China has rejected imports of Australian coal, barely, beef, lobster, timber and wine amid escalating tensions between the two countries, inflamed further by the signing of the AUKUS pact with the US and UK.

Dr Forrest declined to comment on AUKUS, but maintained there was a will in Australia and China to resolve tensions.

"I do think that in the end we will sort this out because the alternative is unthinkable," he said.

"You can slam your fist on the board room table but you don't do it while the camera is filming."

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