A rousing editorial from Beijing's nationalistic tabloid the Global Times has warned China's "enemies" an the Asian powerhouse does not fear military conflict with any nation or alliance.
While the scathing editorial was predominantly aimed at the US, it comes at a time Chinese state media has been highly critical of Australia's involvement in the AUKUS security agreement while it has also condemned Defence Minister Peter Dutton for hyping up the threat of war.
Mr Dutton's remarks have largely stemmed from China's push to reunify a democratic Taiwan, suggesting as an ally of the US, Australia would be required to intervene if military conflict ensued.
The US's rhetoric surrounding Taiwan continues to be deemed as provocative by Beijing, with Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, reportedly warning China would "keep its promise" to take action if it felt its security interests were at risk from the West.
"Washington is gradually viewing the Taiwan question as its trump card to contain China after its previous campaigns failed, be it launching a trade war with China, politicising Covid-19 origins tracing, trying to build a "beautiful sight" in Hong Kong, to slandering Xinjiang for "genocide," all these tricks didn't work," the Global Times said.
In a daunting warning against escalating the Taiwan situation, the Global Times did not mince their words in an opinion piece on Thursday.
"To intensify manipulation of the Taiwan question is to strike a match on the edge of the "biggest powder keg between China and the US," they said.
Like Australia has repeatedly been called, the Global Times labelled Taiwan a mere "pawn" in the US's strategic competition with China.
China will 'fight the enemy to the bitter end'
In a pointed warning to Australia and other US allies, the Global Times said anyone that follows Washington over Taiwan "will definitely end up setting themselves on fire".
"China is a country that walks the talk, and this is a cultural gene deep in its bones. The Taiwan question concerns China's core interests, and will not become an "exception," it said, noting China's will to defend itself was "indestructible".
"To safeguard national unity and the integrity of sovereignty, we will not fear to go to a showdown, and we will not be afraid to fight any incoming enemy."
"The US should weigh on this, and we would also want to remind other parties: "The Chinese nation has the valour to fight the enemy to the bitter end" — such a spirit allows no misjudgments at any time."
China has taken centre stage during the election campaign in Australia, thanks in part to China's controversial security pact with the Solomon Islands. The Coalition has been accused of anti-China commentary in relation to national security in a bid to lure voters.
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