The new defense pact between Australia and Japan signed Tuesday in Tokyo has been dismissed as “dangerous” by Chinese state-owned media, which warns any resistance to Beijing is futile and will come at a heavy cost.
The Reciprocal Access Agreement will enable Australian warships and aircraft to operate further north and offer greater legal protection for service personnel across both countries, offering a crucial counterbalance to Beijing’s military which has expanded and advanced rapidly in recent years.
It was signed during Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo.
But the Global Times, official mouthpiece of the Chinese communist dictatorship, said the U.S. allies were forcing Beijing to explore deeper military co-operation with other nations by their actions.
“We suggest Japan and Australia exercise restraint on the way to form a quasi military alliance against China,” it wrote on Tuesday night. “They will surely pay a corresponding price if China’s national interests are infringed upon and its security is threatened.”
The Global Times condemned both nations for “recklessly” taking the first step to conduct deep defence co-operation that targets a third party, and accused them of shifting the responsibilities of safeguarding regional unity to China.
“This is not only unfair, but also very dangerous,” it wrote. “China is unlikely to remain indifferent to U.S. moves aimed at inciting countries to gang up against China in the long run. It’s inevitable that China will take some sort of countermeasures.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also entered the fray during his daily news conference on Tuesday, the South China Post reports.
He made it plain there was disappointment at Australia’s continued challenges to China’s presumed authority in the Indo/Pacific region as well as Canberra’s ban on Chinese companies contributing to Australia’s 5G telecommunications network.
The Australian government’s call for China to explain its bungled handling of the deadly coronavirus pandemic could spark a boycott by Chinese consumers. https://t.co/OxT3IvMQo7
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 27, 2020
“(They) have subsequently taken a series of wrong moves related to China, which is at the root cause of China-Australia relations taking a sharp downturn and stuck in the current difficult situation … the responsibility for causing this situation doesn’t lie with China at all,” Zhao said.
He then described three areas in which Australia had displeased the Chinese communists.
The first was Morrison’s decision to call for an international inquiry into the source of the coronavirus outbreak and China’s subsequent sloppy handling of the crisis.
“(This) seriously interfered with international cooperation on pandemic prevention and control,” he claimed.
The spokesman then denounced Australia for its attempts to crack down on alleged foreign interference in its domestic politics, a campaign Beijing believes was targeted at China.
Australia’s parliament is set to probe alleged foreign interference at public universities, a government minister said Monday, as concerns grow about Chinese influence. https://t.co/yxDXzTpg3F
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 1, 2020
Finally Zhao berated Australia for repeatedly commenting on human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, as well as the Chinese military’s threatening behavior toward the independent state of Taiwan, as Breitbart News reported.
“These practices have grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs and seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people,” Zhao said.