'DISMAL STATE': China's frank message over Australian election

·Associate News Editor
·2-min read

Chinese state media has taken a swipe at Australia on the eve of the Federal Election, suggesting tensions between the two countries will continue regardless of the result.

Beijing was undoubtedly watching as Labor leader Anthony Albanese claimed victory at the election after a tumultuous and quite frankly dreadful two-year period for Sino-Australian relations.

China has taken centre stage in both parties' election campaigns, thanks in part to Beijing's controversial security deal with the Solomon Islands, a nation described by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as "family".

National security has been a hot topic for the Coalition, with Defence Minister Peter Dutton repeatedly peddling the threat of war in the region.

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Scott Morrison and Xi Jinping.
China relations have soured with Scott Morrison as prime minister. Source: AAP/ Getty

"After China and the Solomon Islands signed a security deal, Morrison and his opponent have frequently hyped the "China military threat"," nationalistic tabloid the Global Times, a renowned critic of Australia, said on Friday.

And while a bullish Mr Morrison has played his part in damaging relations with China, the Global Times said there is little hope for a shift in direction under Mr Albanese thanks to Australia's reliance on the US.

"Whoever is elected as the next prime minister will be subject to the will of the US," Yu Lei, chief research fellow at the Research Centre for Pacific Island Countries of Liaocheng University, told the Global Times.

Chinese state media often mocks Australia's relationship with the US. Source: Global Times
Chinese state media often mocks Australia's relationship with the US. Source: Global Times

In an editorial published a day earlier, the Global Times delivered a daunting warning to the US and Australia stressing China is "not afraid to fight any incoming enemy".

Chen Hong, president of the Chinese Association of Australian Studies and regular feature in the Global Times' scathing Australia coverage, once again pushed the belief Canberra is merely a pawn for Washington.

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"Australia has lost maturity and independence in diplomacy and has completely attached its policy to the American global strategy," he reportedly said.

The Global Times said relations "will be in a dismal state no matter who wins" and suggested they could get even worse thanks to Canberra's alliance with the US.

"Chen said the future Australian government will hype the "China threat" in South Pacific and may even make trouble to pressure China, and turn the region into a battleground for its rivalry against China."

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