Beijing/Canberra: “Australia’s 28-year run of uninterrupted economic growth and expectations of a budget surplus this year proved Beijing and Canberra should look at each other’s development as an opportunity. Australia pats its own back showcasing the economic progress. But some people seem to have forgotten the reasons behind this success. Please remember that there is a major contribution of the Chinese progress and China-Australia cooperation in trade, economy and other sectors,” Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, warned the Australian leadership.
Since the last few months, relations between Australia and China have been severely strained over trade, South China Sea and Indo-Pacific region. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has adopted an open stand opposing China and has warned that Chinese interference in any sector whatsoever, will not be tolerated. This has made the Chinese rulers who were trying to increase their influence in Australia, extremely restless.
Two months ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had acknowledged strained relations between China-Australia. China is the biggest trading partner for Australia and China has made huge investments in Australia. Therefore, bitterness in China-Australia relations could rock the Australian economy. It seems that China is reminding the Australian government of the consequences as the Australian government is not responding positively, to the other Chinese moves.
The Chinese Ambassador raising the issue of economic development, at a time when the Chinese government have completed 70 years, looks to be an effort to deliver a message to the Australian government. The relations between the United States and Australia are currently at their best and this was evident in the recent visit of the Australian Prime Minister to the United States. The initiative taken by the United States to collaborate with Australia in the Rare Earth and space sectors, seems to a move to counter China. Therefore, the warning by the Chinese Ambassador is apparently against the increasing Australian closeness to the United States.
Severe reactions have been published in the Australian media over the Chinese Ambassador’s statements. The Australian analysts have taken an aggressive stand that the Australian population will never accept the statements made by the Chinese Ambassador and will only strengthen the anti-China sentiment.