Australia says China’s ‘alarming’ actions at odds with peaceable rhetoric By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Australian Minister of Protection Peter Dutton speaks throughout a information convention with Australian Overseas Minister Marise Payne, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin (not pictured) on the State Division

By Colin Packham and Byron Kaye

CANBERRA (Reuters) -China’s “alarming” actions don’t match its rhetoric about selling peace and prosperity within the area, Australia’s defence minister mentioned on Friday after a Chinese language navy ship was tracked crusing by the nation’s unique financial zone.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton listed China’s militarisation of the South China Sea, latest aggression in the direction of Taiwan and the introduction of a nationwide safety regulation in Hong Kong as examples of China’s actions being at odds with its rhetoric.

“We’re all aware of the frequent claims of the Chinese language authorities that it’s dedicated to peace, cooperation and improvement,” Dutton mentioned in a speech in Canberra.

“And but we bear witness to a big disconnect between the phrases and the actions. We have watched very carefully because the Chinese language authorities has engaged in more and more alarming actions.”

The Chinese language embassy in Canberra mentioned Dutton had distorted China’s overseas coverage, misled the Australian folks and was “fanning battle and division between peoples and nations”.

“It’s inconceivable that China-Australia relationship will tackle a great momentum… if the Australian authorities bases its nationwide technique on such visionless evaluation and outdated mentality,” it mentioned in a press release.

Relations between Australia and its largest export market reached a low in 2020 when Canberra backed a United Nations inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, which was first recorded in China.

China responded by slicing off ministerial contacts and imposing hefty tariffs on Australian exports of wine, barley, beef, coal and seafood, successfully nullifying a 2015 free commerce settlement. Australia and its ally america branded the transfer “financial coercion”.

The newest alternate of barbs got here as Australia confirmed it had monitored a Chinese language intelligence ship crusing in August inside Australia’s unique financial zone however not in Australian territorial waters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned the ship – the second of its sort monitored off the Australian coast in as many months – was travelling legally.

“However do not suppose for a second that we weren’t preserving our eye on them, as they had been searching for to keep watch over us,” Morrison instructed reporters in Adelaide.

“What it demonstrates is now nobody might be complacent concerning the scenario within the Indo-Pacific.”

In September, a brand new safety pact between Australia, america and Britain, dubbed AUKUS, was extensively seen as an try and shore up regional navy muscle within the face of China’s rising presence. China known as AUKUS a hazard to world peace.

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