A cartoon in a Chinese Communist Party-controlled newspaper has laughed at Australia’s long alliance to the U.S. through war and peace, deriding it as something to be ridiculed.
On Monday, the China Daily shared a cartoon created last week which depicts Australia riding to orders delivered from the U.S. to launch an attack on China, through a reference to fable of Don Quixote.
Captioned “Yes man to one, liar to all” on Twitter, cartoonist Luo Jie illustrated Australia as Quixote’s loyal servant Sancho Panza, sitting atop a donkey and taking orders from the U.S. depicted as the mad knight as he charges towards a windmill, representing China:
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) May 24, 2020
Australia is calling for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic with the backing of U.S. President Donald Trump but China has only agreed to investigate how it handled the outbreak in Wuhan in January – rather than trace the crisis in its totality – and only when it says it is ready to proceed.
The move by Australia to hold China to account has drawn trenchant criticism from Beijing which has used threats, abuse and trade sanctions to try and silence Canberra. Now cartoons have been added to the armory of Chinese abuse.
As Breitbart News reported, last month Chinese media claimed Australia is forever making trouble, “a bit like chewing gum stuck on the sole of China’s shoes.”
The state-controlled People’s Daily accused Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of seeking the probe to deflect criticism of his government, declaring his move will be defeated due to a lack of support by the UK and France. “This is a slap on the face which has come quickly,” it warned.
At the same time the Australians have been among the most outspoken critics of China’s dangerous refusal to close the live animal “wet markets” seen as spawning grounds for the viral pandemic, and of the World Health Organization’s (W.H.O.) baffling endorsement of their reopening.
Australia’s decision to join the U.S. and ban Huawei from any participation in a national 5G network also remains a “sore point or thorny issue” between the two countries, the Chinese ambassador alleged in February, adding “discrimination against a Chinese company” lies at the core of the dispute.
Despite the attacks, Australia has not backed down and continues to work with the U.S. on a range of issues.
Washington has noted the loyalty, as was seen when Morrison visited last year:
Earlier this month 27 senators and House of Representatives members said China had made “deeply disturbing” threats against Australia which would not be tolerated. The politicians said in part:
This incident is part of a broader and concerning pattern from the Chinese government.
As we continue to confront this deadly disease and its consequences, we will be faced with many tough decisions, including those that may arise from the Chinese government’s continued lack of cooperation and transparency.
No matter the external pressure or coercion, we will always have Australia’s back, just as Australia has always had ours.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio, Republican House member Liz Cheney and the co-chairs of the Friends of Australia caucus, Democrat Joe Courtney and Republican Mike Gallagher are just some of those included in the group supporting Australia and its refusal to be bullied by Beijing.
They acknowledged Australia believes in what Ronald Reagan called the “truths and traditions” that define the United States, as Morrison said last year.
The Australian conservative coaliton leader explained: “We stand together in these self-evident truths. We stand together for personal liberty and freedom. For democracy and the ballot box. For the rule of law, and freedom of association. For free economies and free peoples.”