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China demands ‘common sense’ from Canberra in fresh swipe

·2-min read
(Source: Getty)
(Source: Getty)

A Chinese state-owned publication has slammed Australia over “toxic anti-China rhetoric and confrontational policies” and urged Canberra to extend an olive branch.

In a recent editorial, the state-owned China Daily, said Canberra should “heed” rational voices calling for a more conciliatory relationship with Australia’s largest trading partner.

The editorial cited recent comments from Australian Industry group CEO Innes Wilcox who called for “negotiation, common sense and diplomacy”, which were backed by former Liberal MP Warwick Smith.

“Getting Sino-Australian ties back onto a healthy track would best cater to the country's interests. Australia has obviously garnered great economic benefits from the previously friendly ties between the two countries,” the editorial said.

But recent moves by Canberra, particularly the scrapped deal between Victoria and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, have incensed Beijing.

Earlier this month, China indefinitely suspended high-level economic dialogue with Australia in a formal freeze in diplomatic relations and trade talks.

The editorial accused Canberra of “clinging onto a Cold War mentality” for viewing China’s development as a “threat, not an opportunity”.

“Its ideological prejudice has totally changed how Australian society views China and subsequently poisoned the atmosphere for meaningful interactions between the two countries,” it said.

Recently, the Federal Government indicated it was reviewing a 2015 decision to grant Chinese company Landbridge full operational control of Darwin Port, which analysts have said now have a strategic importance, amid security concerns.

The editorial slammed the “ridiculous misperception” of Beijing as a “threat” and also indicated Australia had overextended itself by commenting on controversial topics such as China’s approach to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan.

The “growing chill in bilateral ties” between the two countries rests solely on the Australian government’s shoulders, the editorial said.

“It should stop disrupting bilateral trade and investment cooperation and instead work with China to promote the sound development of bilateral relations.”

The editorial is the latest in a string of attacks from Chinese-owned publications spanning China Daily and the Global Times.

China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng recently blamed the “Australian side” for the indefinitely suspended trade talks, calling Canberra to take “full responsibility” for the broken relationship.

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