'No right': China slams Australia's 'colonial' mentality

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·Associate News Editor
·2-min read
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Chinese state media has lambasted Australia's grip on the Pacific Islands, warning the colonial era is "long gone".

The nationalistic Beijing mouthpiece the Global Times vented in the wake of Foreign Minister Penny Wong's visit to the Solomon Islands.

Ms Wong's trip comes after her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi failed to woo a host of Pacific Island nations into a similar security deal it signed with the Solomon Islands, a deal which triggered alarm bells in Australia and other regional neighbours.

Following her meeting with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, Ms Wong suggested China's advancements were unwelcome.

This handout picture released by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on June 17, 2022 shows Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (R) shaking hands with the visiting Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong in Solomon Islands capital city Honiara. - XGTY / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT
Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare meets Foreign Minister Penny Wong. Source: Getty

"Australia's view does remain that the Pacific family should be responsible for our security, and the Pacific family is more than capable of providing that security," she said on Friday.

But Chinese experts via the Global Times condemned her remarks, suggesting it was presumptuous to assume Australia would always be the Pacific's choice for security.

"Australian officials' wincing at the pact exposes its lingering colonial myth and coercive diplomacy," it said.

"Australia wants to play the role of the head of the so-called Pacific family, but the colonial era ended long ago. It has no right to judge other regional countries' domestic affairs, experts noted."

Chinese fears over Australia's influence on NZ

Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Centre at East China Normal University and regular commentator for the Global Times, fears Australia is attempting to persuade New Zealand to join Australia and the US with their anti-China "clique".

Chinese state media often mocks Australia's relationship with the US. Source: Global Times
The Global Times once again rolled out one of its most common cartoons when discussing Australia and the US. Source: Global Times

On Thursday, Ms Wong met with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, days after a video call with Mr Wang.

In a rare move earlier this month, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern criticised China in a wide-ranging joint statement with US President Joe Biden that largely focused on China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific.

The Ardern government had previously avoided provocative commentary towards China, which was in stark contrast to the Morrison government.

Chen warned Washington was ramping up its efforts to contain China, embarking on a "scare and smear campaign" against Beijing.

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