Morrison won't pick sides in US-China spat

Scott Morrison says he won't be taking sides in an escalating spat between China and the United States.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia will not choose between the United States and China as the two global superpowers square off.

Mr Morrison said Australia's relationship with the US and China were different and both successful.

"Australia doesn't have to choose and we won't choose," he told reporters in Singapore on Thursday.

"We will continue to work constructively with both partners based on the core of what those relationships are."

Mr Morrison said the relationship with China - Australia's largest trading partner - extended to a vast diaspora back home.

"There are more than just the connections that are commercial. There are deeper ties there between peoples," he said.

The US is Australia's closest military ally.

"The beliefs and values and the history that we share is equally important," Mr Morrison said.

"So we don't choose between the issues - we don't choose between the partners - we get on with the relationship."

Published 15 November 2018 at 3:28pm, updated 15 November 2018 at 3:40pm