Jumat, 24 September 2021

China: Australia will be ‘cannon fodder’ -

In a scathing new editorial, China’s communist mouthpiece has declared Australia will become “cannon fodder” as part of the Quad.

As Scott Morrison prepares to join his American, Indian and Japanese counterparts for the first-ever in-person leaders meeting of the Quad, China’s state-run tabloid has lobbed another verbal grenade at Australia.

The Prime Minister will meet with US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshishide Suga in Washington, after the diplomatic initiative held its first-ever virtual meeting earlier this year.

While the attendees are slated to discuss a series of big issues — including Covid-19 and cybersecurity — mutual concerns over China will likely dominate conversation.

Hence the new editorial from communist mouthpiece the Global Times — widely considered the unofficial voice of Beijing’s more aggressive views — declaring that the initiative is “incapable of inflicting substantial harm to China” and that Australia, India and Japan will become US “cannon fodder”.

“While the Quad mechanism is engaged in splitting Asia and instigating various forces to contain China, if Japan, India and Australia went too far in following the US strategy of containing China, they will become cannon fodder as China will resolutely safeguard its interests,” Chinese analysts, speaking to the Global Times, supposedly warned, according to reporters Zhang Hui and Yan Yuzhu.

Analysts told the publication that the announcement of AUKUS (a security pact between the US, UK and Australia involving nuclear-powered submarines) last week has “cast a shadow over the Quad summit, and will dilute the Quad members, especially Japan and India, and make the summit less effective”.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, called the four Quad members “four ward mates with four different diseases”, and said the initiative will have zero long-term strategic value.

Describing Japan as the Quad’s “main agitator”, both Mr Lü and Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University Professor Li Haidong said that the more it smears China, the more Japan will gain US support.

“Japan hopes to tie itself tightly to the US chariot to get a more prominent international status and a bigger say in Northeast Asia. Japan wants American troops to stay in the country and South Korea, but whether Biden, facing internal and external unprecedented plight, would choose to further provoke China remains a question,” Mr Lü said.

The article was the tabloid’s latest slight against Australia, having previously described our nation as “arrogant” and the “most unfriendly country besides the United States”, threatening “long-range missile strikes” on Australian soil.

Reporters regularly take to the Global Times’ pages to taunt and smear the enemies of the largest country in the world, with those verbal grenades more often than not lobbed Down Under as relations continue to sour off the back of more than a year of escalating tensions.

“Preparing for war? Then build an antimissile system!” the outlet’s editor, Hu Xijin, tweeted in May, following Mr Morrison’s declaration that it would be “foolish” not to appreciate the potential risk of military conflict with China over Taiwan.

“I believe once Australian troops come to Taiwan Strait to combat against the People’s Liberation Army, there is a high probability that Chinese missiles will fly toward military bases and key relevant facilities on Australian soil in retaliation,” Mr Hu said.

A March take-down by reporter Li Qingqing accused Australia of doing America’s bidding and trying to “suppress China”, declaring we were “undermining the development rights of the 1.4 billion Chinese people”, while a series of provocative cartoons were published in December attacking Australia’s Defence Force.

Created by artist Liu Rui, one of the cartoons was an overt reference to allegations that Australian soldiers committed war crimes, including against 39 Afghans; while another depicted a kangaroo.

Speaking from New York on Wednesday morning, Mr Morrison said he’s confident Australia can avoid “the conflict that we all want to avoid” with China despite the growing animosity.

“I believe that includes not only Australia and the many countries in our region, and our friends across ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), but I believe it extends to our partners in the Quad, Japan and India … and no doubt China,” the PM told reporters.

He also assured the Australian public that the US remained a close ally.

“The President has a deep understanding of the Indo-Pacific – a very deep understanding,” Mr Morrison said.

“He’s been around this space for a very long time and he knows it intimately. That’s a great assurance to our partnership that he understands these issues at this level and we are joined in this objective of peace.

“We’re joined in this objective of doing all we can to ensure that the stability that we can provide will deliver the peace that is necessary.”

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2021-09-24 16:18:45Z

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