The state-run Chinese newspaper Global Times aimed at Australia’s newly appointed Defense Minister Peter Dutton, with “hawkish” political leaders being “extreme populists” and “strong racist tendencies.” Said he had.
“Because Dutton is Defense Minister, Australia will take further action to work with the United States to stir up the South China Sea issue,” the editorial said.
In response to the attack, Defense Minister said, “I think they are half right.”
“Because the United States is our most important ally, we work very closely with the United States, but we do not do it in a hostile way. We protect our sovereignty and national interests. That’s what Dutton said. Sky news australia..
“We do not support the militarization of ports. We do not support foreign countries trying to exert influence here by cyber or other means. We do not want to see conflicts in our area,” he said. Added.
Dutton’s appointment to the defense portfolio came after a cabinet reshuffle caused by allegations of sexual misconduct in Congress.
Defense analysts praised his appointment, saying he would bring “urgency and motivation” to his work. This includes overseeing and implementing a $ 270 billion strategic renewal of the Australian Government designed to strengthen the country’s military offensive in the face of heightened tensions in India-the Pacific region.
“I think he’ll get the defense strategy update, recognize the urgency of delivery, and get the defense to do a lot … it’s done at the speed it needs,” said Michael Schubridge of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. I haven’t been. ” Australian person..
However, when he took office, the minister made a more reconciled tone about China.
“We all want emerging supranationalisms like China and existing supranationalisms like the United States to work closely together,” he said.
“Clearly, China has a long-term ambition for Taiwan, and peace is in our region so that we can work together with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the party that runs China. I want to make sure that there is — and at the same time, make sure that we can work with the people in our area. ”
Global Times followed up his interview EditorialDutton pointed out that he called the ruling party the Chinese Communist Party instead of China.
“This is a subtle difference that reflects Dutton’s own conservative political position and ideological prejudice against China, and China needs to pay attention to this,” he said.
Bilateral relations plummeted last year after an eight-month CCP economic coercion campaign against Australia targeting major export industries such as coal, beef, wine, barley, red shrimp, timber, lamb and cotton.
The campaign responded to a request by Foreign Minister Marise Payne to investigate the origin of COVID-19 in April 2020.
According to the Lowy Institute, the affected exports to China were about $ 25 billion in 2019.
By January 2020, its value had dropped to $ 5 billion. However, exporters have been able to find alternative markets, iron ore exports to China have skyrocketed, helping Australia record its fourth-highest monthly trade surplus in December.