Shadow assistant defence minister Mike Kelly said Australia should "engage positively" with China following West Australian Liberal MP Andrew Hastie's recent comments on the country.
Australia should engage positively with China and continue working on the development of regional diplomatic, trade and security architecture that facilitate a rational and confidence-building framework to resolve issues.Shadow assistant defence minister Mike Kelly
"The relationship with China has the potential for a great deal of good in strengthening our economies and lifting our peoples to a better standard of living," the Eden-Monaro Labor MP said on Friday.
"There are opportunities in particular for cooperation on energy security and tackling climate change through collaborative research and development."
Both MPs sit on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, which oversees the primary agencies of the Australian Intelligence Community.
Mr Hastie, who chairs the joint committee, attracted criticism after comparing the People's Republic of China to Nazi Germany in a newspaper article last week where he said Australia should be doing more to prevent the nation's military expansion in the Indo-Pacific region.
"Just as the French believed their series of steel and concrete forts would guard them against the German advance in 1940," he said. "But their thinking failed catastrophically.
"Like the French, Australia has failed to see how mobile our authoritarian neighbour has become."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Mr Hastie was commenting as a backbencher and not as intelligence committee chair, while China in a statement accused Mr Hastie of having a "Cold War mentality and ideological bias".
Dr Kelly said there is need for the creation of a regional format for positive dialogue between the two countries.
"Australia should engage positively with China and continue working on the development of regional diplomatic, trade and security architecture that facilitate a rational and confidence-building framework to resolve issues," he said.
"It is in China's interests to ensure confidence in trade and commerce. Increasing security tensions through aggressive espionage and interference or unilateral action in our region's sea lanes do not serve these interests."