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China accuses Morrison Government of being America’s ‘vassal’ – US Senators hit back

China has taken its latest swing at Australia over its ties with the United States – as a senior Republican senator backed the Morrison government amid its worsening war of words with the Asian superpower. 

Chinese Communist Party-controlled newspaper The Global Times wrote its latest damning editorial against the Morrison government on Friday titled ‘if Australia wants to remain Australia, it must tell the US’.

‘Australia is no longer the original Australia, but has become a vassal of the US in recent years,’ the article claimed.

The hit piece follows the authoritarian regime issuing even more economic threats against Canberra and releasing a bizarre list of 14 ‘grievances’ against Australia. 

China’s perceived bullying tactics against Australia have come under fire by prominent US senator Marco Rubio.

Mr Rubio is one of the front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 and rushed to Australia’s defence as the diplomatic spat with China continues to deteriorate.

One of the front-runners for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2024 Marco Rubio said the world must work together to deter the totalitarian state (pictured with US President Donald Trump)

One of the front-runners for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2024 Marco Rubio said the world must work together to deter the totalitarian state (pictured with US President Donald Trump)

Pictured: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at a meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday

Pictured: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at a meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday

‘Democracies must reject the CCP’s bullying and commit to concrete actions,’ the Florida Senator said.

‘Words alone will not deter China, but, by acting together, we can ensure the Chinese Communist Party pays a price for its malign behaviour.’

Senator Rubio told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age a global coalition of MPs from various democratic nations – the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China – ‘will play an important role in garnering support for Australia in the face of Beijing’s economic coercion’.

The alliance is currently made up of 38 MPs from 18 countries and the European Parliament.

Beijing responded with fury and outrage this week when Mr Morrison set off to Japan – one of China’s greatest historic rivals – to strengthen trade and military ties.  

‘Australia has become a loudspeaker of the US in the Asia-Pacific region,’ The Global Times article said.

China has warned it will become Australia's 'enemy' while escalating tensions by releasing a bizarre dossier outlining 14 'grievances' with the Morrison government. Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping

China has warned it will become Australia’s ‘enemy’ while escalating tensions by releasing a bizarre dossier outlining 14 ‘grievances’ with the Morrison government. Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping 

Mr Morrison on Wednesday said China shouldn't be threatened by Australia's signing of a defence treaty with Japan. Pictured are Chinese soldiers from the People's Liberation Army wear protective masks as they march after a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of China's entry into the Korean War last month

Mr Morrison on Wednesday said China shouldn’t be threatened by Australia’s signing of a defence treaty with Japan. Pictured are Chinese soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army wear protective masks as they march after a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of China’s entry into the Korean War last month

China’s ’14 grievances’  

1. ‘Incessant wanton interference in China’s Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan affairs’

2. ‘Siding with the US’ anti-China campaign and spreading misinformation’

3. ‘Thinly veiled allegations against China on cyber attacks without any evidence’

4.  ‘An unfriendly or antagonistic report on China by media’

5. Providing funding to ‘anti-China think tank for spreading untrue reports’ 

6. ‘Foreign interference legislation’

7. ‘Foreign investment decisions’

8. ‘Banning Huawei technologies and ZTE from the 5G network’

9. ‘Politicisation and stigmatisation of the normal exchanges and coorperation between China and Australia’

10. Making statements ‘on the South China Sea to the United Nations’

11. ‘Outrageous condemnation of the governing party of China by MPs and racist attacks against Chinese or Asian people’ 

12. ‘The early drawn search and reckless seizure of Chinese journalists’ homes and properties’  

13. Calls for an independent inquiry into Covid-19

14. ‘Legislation to scrutinise agreements with a foreign government’ 

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‘From Australia’s ban on Huawei, its high-profile advocacy for an international probe into the origin of the novel coronavirus, to its participation in the recent Malabar naval exercises, and its signing of a quasi-military alliance agreement with Japan, all these have been advocating US interests.’

With China growing increasingly belligerent on the world stage in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Morrison has held firm against Beijing.

‘Australia will always be, we’ll be ourselves. Of course we will set our own laws and our own rules according to our national interest. Not at the behest of any other nation whether that’s the United States or China or anyone else,’ he told Nine’s Today program.

‘We make our laws and our rules and pursue our relationships in our interests and we stand up with other countries, whether it be on human rights issues or things that are occurring around the world including in China.

‘We will continue to do that in accordance with our values. Now, if that is the source of tensions between Australia and China well, I can assure you Australia will continue to be ourselves.’

In one of the most bizarre episodes of the diplomatic spat, China issued a dossier outlining 14 grievances with the government after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg attempted to cool escalating tensions between the nations.

The dossier was handed to Nine Newspapers by the Chinese Embassy in Canberra, containing accusations ranging from ‘racist attacks against Asian people’ to siding with the ‘United States’ anti-China campaign’.

All Chinese companies have been informally instructed by the Communist Party to stop buying Australian barley, sugar, red wine, logs, coal, lobster and copper (pictured, an employee stacks Australian made wine on shelves in Beijing)

All Chinese companies have been informally instructed by the Communist Party to stop buying Australian barley, sugar, red wine, logs, coal, lobster and copper (pictured, an employee stacks Australian made wine on shelves in Beijing)

‘China is angry. If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy,’ a Chinese government official said in a briefing with a reporter.

Mr Frydenberg gave a speech on Wednesday in which he offered an olive branch to the Chinese government following a year of economic coercion by Beijing.

‘We stand ready to engage with the Chinese government in respectful, mutually beneficial dialogue,’ he said

But the offer was quickly slapped down by Chinese policy makers and the Orwellian dossier was released complaining about everything from interference in ‘Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan affairs’, as well as ‘unfriendly media reports’ and the banning of Huawei in Australia’s 5G network.

One day after, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian took aim at the Five Eyes intelligence alliance made up of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

‘No matter how many eyes they have, five or 10 or whatever, should anyone dare to undermine China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, be careful not to get poked in the eye,’ he said in relation to westerners who’ve criticised China’s violent and draconian crackdown on democratic activists in Hong Kong.

The dossier of grievances claimed Australia was interfering with China's affairs in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Australia wants China to respect Hong Kong's democracy. Hong Kong residents (pictured) have been protesting against what they see as increasing Chinese encroachment

The dossier of grievances claimed Australia was interfering with China’s affairs in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Australia wants China to respect Hong Kong’s democracy. Hong Kong residents (pictured) have been protesting against what they see as increasing Chinese encroachment

The Communist Party has been furious since Mr Morriosn called for an independent international inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic in April, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year.

In response, Beijing has slapped an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley, suspended beef imports and told students and tourists not to travel Down Under.

Chinese companies have also been informally instructed by the Communist Party to stop buying Australian barley, sugar, red wine, logs, coal, lobster and copper.

China has told Australia to 'accept the reality' that the former British colony Hong Kong (pictured above) has been returned to the communist nation

China has told Australia to ‘accept the reality’ that the former British colony Hong Kong (pictured above) has been returned to the communist nation

With many of Australia’s key sectors now in the crosshairs of China, Mr Morrison said Australia will not be kowtowing even though the grievances could threaten up to $20billion in trade between the two nations. 

‘We won’t be compromising on the fact that we will set what our foreign investment laws are or how we build our 5G telecommunications networks or how we run our systems of protecting against interference Australia’s way we run our country,’ he said.

‘We won’t be changing any of that and I can tell you, in that list you would have seen that apparently the media and freely elected politicians apparently aren’t allowed to speak their minds.

‘We won’t be changing that in Australia either. So we’ll continue to be ourselves. We will stand up for our national interests but we’ll engage with our partners respectively.’

The list also condemned Scott Morrison for seeking an independent investigation into the origins of Covid-19. Pictured: A bio-security lab in China

The list also condemned Scott Morrison for seeking an independent investigation into the origins of Covid-19. Pictured: A bio-security lab in China

How China’s feud with Australia has escalated 

2019: Australian intelligence services conclude that China was responsible for a cyber-attack on Australia’s parliament and three largest political parties in the run-up to a May election.

April 2020: Australian PM Scott Morrison begins canvassing his fellow world leaders for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Britain and France are initially reluctant but more than 100 countries eventually back an investigation. 

April 15: Morrison is one of the few leaders to voice sympathy with Donald Trump’s criticisms of the World Health Organization, which the US president accuses of bias towards China. 

April 21: China’s embassy accuses Australian foreign minister Peter Dutton of ‘ignorance and bigotry’ and ‘parroting what those Americans have asserted’ after he called for China to be more transparent about the outbreak.  

April 23: Australia’s agriculture minister David Littleproud calls for G20 nations to campaign against the ‘wet markets’ which are common in China and linked to the earliest coronavirus cases.  

April 26: Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye hints at a boycott of Australian wine and beef and says tourists and students might avoid Australia ‘while it’s not so friendly to China’. Canberra dismisses the threat and warns Beijing against ‘economic coercion’. 

May 11: China suspends beef imports from four of Australia’s largest meat processors. These account for more than a third of Australia’s $1.1billion beef exports to China. 

May 18: The World Health Organization backs a partial investigation into the pandemic, but China says it is a ‘joke’ for Australia to claim credit. The same day, China imposes an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley. Australia says it may challenge this at the WTO. 

May 21: China announces new rules for iron ore imports which could allow Australian imports – usually worth $41billion per year – to be singled out for extra bureaucratic checks. 

June 5: Beijing warns tourists against travelling to Australia, alleging racism and violence against the Chinese in connection with Covid-19.  

June 9: China’s Ministry of Education warns students to think carefully about studying in Australia, similarly citing alleged racist incidents.   

June 19: Australia says it is under cyber-attack from a foreign state which government sources say is believed to be China. The attack has been targeting industry, schools, hospitals and government officials, Morrison says.

July 9: Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong and offers to extend the visas of 10,000 Hong Kongers who are already in Australia over China’s national security law which effectively bans protest.

August 18: China launches 12-month anti-dumping investigation into wines imported from Australia in a major threat to the $6billion industry. 

August 26: Prime Minster Scott Morrison announces he will legislate to stop states and territories signing deals with foreign powers that go against Australia’s foreign policy. Analysts said it is aimed at China.

October 13: Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says he’s investigating reports that Chinese customs officials have informally told state-owned steelmakers and power plants to stop Aussie coal, leaving it in ships off-shore.

November 2: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud reveals China is holding up Aussie lobster imports by checking them for minerals.

November 3: Barley, sugar, red wine, logs, coal, lobster and copper imports from Australia unofficially banned under a directive from the government, according to reports.

November 18: China releases bizarre dossier of 14 grievances with Australia. 

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