Mr Howard, who has previewed the release of classified cabinet documents in January, also said Australia must have a serious discussion about population without accusing people of being racist.
The Morrison Government asked Mr Howard to lead an Australian delegation at annual talks in China and he met the nation’s most senior diplomat, Yang Jeichi.
“While I can’t go into — because it’s Chatham House — what individuals said, I can say the flavour of the meeting was, ‘OK, we have issues, we always will, China is an autocracy’,” Mr Howard said.
“They complained about our media and I made it very clear that we have a free media.
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