The Australian ambassador to Beijing in Beijing seeks to drive a wedge in stronger ties between Australia and Japan, criticizing its Japanese counterpart in Canberra and warning Australians not to trust their WWII enemies. , to prevent Japan from launching a military attack on Australia in the future.
Chinese Ambassador Xiao Chen made the comments at a New Year’s press conference held at the Chinese Embassy in Canberra on January 10.
Targeting Shingo Yamagami, Japanese Ambassador to Australia, in an editorial for Australians Said Both Australia and Japan need to be “vigilant” against China, and citing Beijing’s threat of retaliation against the country that imposed COVID-19 tests on Chinese arrivals, Xiao said the ambassadors were doing their job. He accused him of not doing so.
He also referred to Japan’s attack on Darwin and its treatment of Australian prisoners of war held by Japanese forces in the Pacific, and said Japan had never apologized for its actions during the war. , accusing Japan of not accepting its wrong actions, and said, “They may repeat history.”
During World War II, Japan launched nearly 100 air raids against Australia, including attacks on Darwin and Broome, and invaded Australian-held territory in New Guinea and Papua.
However, after Japan surrendered unconditionally at the end of the war in 1957, then-Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, during a visit to Australia, offered reparations for Australia’s wartime actions and expressed his country’s grief for what happened during the war. Did.
“It is my official duty and my personal wish to convey to you and through you the people of Australia our heartfelt grief over what happened in the war,” Kishi said. .
Japan Now Love Peace and Obey Rules
In response to Xiao’s comments, Yamagami says that everyone knows that Japan is a peace-loving, rule-abiding country, and that what happened over 80 years ago doesn’t matter.
“We all know how many years have passed since the end of World War II. We all know the postwar trajectory of a peace-loving, rule-abiding Japan.” Said ABC TV. “So the question here is not what happened over 80 years ago. The question here is how to deal with coercion and intimidation across the region. ”
“And here in Australia and Japan we are in perfect sync.”
Japan is now considered a strategic ally of Australia, alongside India and the United States, members of the Quadruple Security Dialogue (Quad) Partnership.
The Japanese ambassador said his remarks about China were only “common sense”.
“We highly emphasize the importance of maintaining [the] International order based on rules. What can I say if that offends my Chinese counterpart?”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was asked about Xiao’s comments about Japan.
“We have a very positive relationship with Japan,” says Albanian Said Journalist on January 11th.
“We also hope to improve relations with China. I think the ambassador’s comments have been positive and constructive on these issues,” he said.
“I look forward to continuing our constructive dialogue. We are willing to work with China as much as possible.
AUKUS accused of targeting China
Xiao also attacked the AUKUS security pact between Australia, the UK and the US, saying it was neither “constructive” nor “beneficial”. He also called “China as a potential threat or enemy”. said to be targeted.
“China is not trying to be an enemy of the United States, and we are neither Britain nor Australia, so there is no reason for the three countries to work together to tackle something that targets China as a threat,” Xiao said. Said.
On the contrary, Defense Minister Richard Marles and Deputy Prime Minister last month praised AUKUS as “a common mission for the three countries working together to pursue advanced military capabilities.”
“At a time when the strategic situation facing the world is as complex and precarious as it has been since the end of World War II, [it is] At the opening ceremony of the AUKUS Defense Ministers’ Meeting in December 2022, Australia’s ability to acquire a nuclear-powered high-performance submarine is crucial.
Former Tasmanian liberal Senator Eric Abets agreed with Murless’ view.
“The acquisition of nuclear submarines under the AUKUS treaty is overwhelmingly viewed as a significant realignment of Australia’s defense posture,” Abetz wrote in an opinion piece for The Epoch Times.
Ambassador attempts positive note on trade and detained Australians
In a symbolic gesture, Xiao said bilateral relations with Australia were “at a critical stage of a turnaround”.
“As we improve our relationship, I hope that the Chinese economy, and the Chinese customers, will be more encouraged to come back for a stronger appetite for Australian products,” he said.
However, the Chinese government has yet to roll back punitive trade tariffs it has described as an attempt to coerce Australia. Currently, trade tariffs still apply to Australian wine, beef, honey, lamb, lobster and other export products. according to To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The ambassador also spoke positively when asked about detained Australians, journalist Chen Lei and writer Yang Hengjun, as bilateral trade ties dissolved after Foreign Minister Penny Wong’s visit to China last month. As soon as possible. “
But he also said Australia needs to respect China’s legal system.
Yang Hengjun and Cheng Lei have been detained in China since 2019 and 2020 respectively. In both cases, the Australian government has criticized the Chinese regime for lacking transparency and judicial independence.