In a scathing new editorial, the Chinese Communist spokesperson said Australia would become “cannon fodder” under the Quad.
As Scott Morrison prepares to join his US, Indian and Japanese counterparts for the Quad’s first-ever in-person meeting, the Chinese state tabloid has thrown 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 attendees are expected to discuss a range of big issues – including Covid-19 and cybersecurity – mutual concerns about China will likely dominate the conversation.
Hence the new editorial by the Communist spokesperson on World time – widely seen as the unofficial voice of Beijing’s more aggressive views – declaring that the initiative is “incapable of inflicting substantial harm on China” and that Australia, India and Japan will become “cannon fodder ” the United States.
“While the Quad Mechanism is engaged in dividing Asia and instigating various forces to contain China, whether Japan, India and Australia have gone too far in pursuing US strategy consisting in containing China, they will become cannon fodder because China will resolutely protect its interests, âhe added. Chinese analysts, speaking to World time, supposedly defendant, according to journalists Zhang Hui and Yan Yuzhu.
Analysts told the publication that the announcement of AUKUS (a security pact between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia involving nuclear-powered submarines) last week “cast a shadow on the Quad summit, and will dilute the Quad members, especially Japan and India, and make the summit less effective â.
LÃ¼ Xiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, called the four Quad members “four fellow wardens with four different illnesses,” and said the initiative would have no long-term strategic value.
Describing Japan as the “main agitator” of the Quad, Mr. LÃ¼ and Prof. Li Haidong from the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign University said that the more it smears China, the more Japan will gain. support from the United States.
âJapan hopes to bond closely with the American tank to achieve greater international status and gain more weight in Northeast Asia. Japan wants US troops to stay in the country and in South Korea, but whether Biden, facing an unprecedented situation inside and outside, would choose to provoke China further remains a question, âsaid Mr. LÃ¼.
The article was the tabloid’s latest affront to Australia, having previously described our nation as “arrogant” and “the most hostile country besides the United States”, threatening “long-range missile strikes” on the Australian soil.
Journalists regularly visit the World time ‘ pages to taunt and smear enemies of the world’s greatest country, with those verbal grenades most often thrown down as relations continue to deteriorate after more than a year of escalating tensions.
âPrepare for war? Then build an anti-missile system! Media editor Hu Xijin tweeted in May, following Mr. Morrison’s statement that it would be “foolish” not to appreciate the potential risk of military conflict with China on Taiwan.
“I believe that once Australian troops come to the Taiwan Strait to fight the People’s Liberation Army, there is a high probability that Chinese missiles will fly to key military bases and installations on Australian soil in retaliation, âHu said.
Dismantling in March by reporter Li Qingqing accused Australia of auctioning off America and trying to “suppress China”, saying we “are undermining the development rights of the 1.4 billion Chinese” , while a series of provocative cartoons were published in December attacking the Australian Defense Force.
Created by artist Liu Rui, one of the drawings openly referred to allegations that Australian soldiers had committed war crimes, including against 39 Afghans; while another represented a kangaroo.
Speaking from New York on Wednesday morning, Morrison said he was confident Australia could avoid “the conflict we all want to avoid” with China despite growing animosity.
âI think that not only includes Australia and the many countries in our region, and our friends in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), but I think it extends to our Quad partners, Japan and Indiaâ¦ and no doubt China, âthe prime minister told reporters.
He also assured the Australian public that the United States remains a close ally.
“The President has a deep understanding of the Indo-Pacific – a very deep understanding,” said Mr. Morrison.
âHe’s been in this space for a very long time and he knows it intimately. It is a great assurance for our partnership that it understands these issues at this level and that we are united in this objective of peace.
“We join this goal of doing all we can to ensure that the stability that we can provide will bring the peace that is needed.”