Chinese state media has launched a scathing attack on Australia and its fellow Five Eyes members, accusing the nations of creating a "racist community".
Beijing mouthpiece the Global Times, who Canberra sought clear-the-air talks with in December through outspoken editor-in-chief Hu Xijin, took aim at the alliance in the wake of Canada's decision to declare China's treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang as genocide.
The editorial lambasted Australia for proactively pressuring China on a series of issues, presumably the key conflicts outlined in a 14-point dossier handed to Nine Newspapers by a Chinese diplomat late last year including stances on human rights in China.
"They have formed a US-centred, racist, and mafia-styled community, wilfully and arrogantly provoking China and trying to consolidate their hegemony as all gangsters do," it said.
The Global Times said the unified attack on China from the UK, Australia, the US and Canada had allowed for diplomatic hooliganism. The editorial said New Zealand was the exception.
China themselves have been accused of a heavy-handed approach in terms of its diplomacy in the past 12 months, with its new approach dubbed 'wolf warrior diplomacy' after the hit action movies of the same name where Rambo-like protagonists defend the interests of China across the globe.
Zhao Lijian, the foreign ministry spokesperson responsible for sharing the provocative artist's image of an Australian soldier slitting the throat of an Afghan child in December, is one of many players in China's newly-adopted aggressive approach.
Beijing has argued it has not shifted its style of diplomacy, instead insisting it was simply defending itself from a rise in unprovoked attacks from Western nations on a series of matters it deems internal affairs.
The Global Times said Australia and the other countries had begun targeting China and Russia with an ever-growing discriminative stance.
"The evil idea of racism has been fermenting consciously or unconsciously in their clashes with the two countries," it said.
Western allies accused of 'hijacking' global diplomacy
The editorial went as far to say the Five Eyes alliance was responsible for the "most serious white supremacy threat" globally.
It said it was vital global diplomacy was not "hijacked" by such an approach.
"We cannot allow their selfishness to masquerade as the common morality of the world, and they cannot set the agenda of mankind," the editorial said.
"What they want is sham multilateralism, and what they actually pursue is hooliganism in their own interest circle.
"By resisting them, China is not only defending its own interests, we are also defending the diversity of the modern world, which is based on the free choices of people and paths taken by different countries."
On Tuesday evening, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Canada's move regarding Xinjiang had "deliberately smeared China".
"Some people in Canada should abandon their anti-China bias, step outside from the dark room into the sunlight, look at China in an objective and fair way, rather than indulge in the obsolete mentality of ideological confrontation," he said.
Australia has felt the wrath of China during 2020 for refusing to kowtow to Beijing, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison repeatedly warning it would not compromise its sovereignty.
China is widely perceived to have retaliated with a raft of trade sanctions which has seen several of Australia's exports such as beef and wine badly affected.
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