Australian says China uses different tone in private talks

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An Australian official says China uses a different tone in private talks than it used in a recent public statement that demanded Australia take off its "tinted glasses" and take "concrete actions" to improve bilateral ties.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Frances Adamson was being questioned by a Senate committee on Thursday on the vastly different accounts that the Australian and China foreign ministers gave of their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of a Group of 20 minister's conference in Argentina last week.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop described her meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi as "very warm and candid and constructive." Wang issued a statement in terse terms.

Australia has been talking down media reports of diplomatic disruptions over Chinese anger at Australian policies.