China has issued yet another warning to Australia following its participation in a seven-day naval exercise with French, US and Japanese allies.
The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Parramatta practised anti-submarine drills and landing on remote islands off the East China Sea between May 11 and May 17.
Speculation over the collaboration presenting as a "threat" to China has since been promptly shut down by a Chinese military expert in state-run publication The Global Times.
"Australia’s military is too weak to be a worthy opponent of China," Song Zhongping told the publication.
"If it (Australia) dares to interfere in a military conflict for example in the Taiwan Straits, its forces will be among the first to be hit."
Mr Zhongping went further to condemn Australia's participation, saying the "provocative" move fell far short of a realistic threat to China.
"Australia must not think it can hide from China if it provokes. The drill will not be a threat to China, because it was only scraped together," he said.
The journalist behind the piece also said China's People’s Liberation Army had no need to make a "pointed response" because Australia was "insignificant militarily".
The threatening language came one week after the publication encouraged Australia to build an anti-missile defence system following China's threat of launching a missile on Australian soil.
Meanwhile, China hit out at Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week, accusing him of playing dumb over the state of badly-depleted Sino-Australian ties and what has led to their deterioration.
Pressed on recent remarks Mr Morrison made to The Sydney Morning Herald where he said there was still "great value" in the two nation's relations, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian revealed Beijing's disapproval of his comments.
"This is what we Chinese call 'feigning ignorance'," he told reporters.
In yet another defiant public display, Mr Zhao once again stressed the blame for the struggling relationship lay solely with Canberra.
"The root cause of the current serious difficulties in China-Australia relations lies in Australia's gross interference in China's internal affairs, impairment of China's interests and unwarranted restrictions on bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
"The responsibility doesn't rest with China at all."
Mr Zhao's latest remarks are yet another stern reminder China is unwilling to budge on what it demands from Australia.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com