'WISHING FOR TROUBLE': China's threat to 'irresponsible' Australia

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·News Reporter
·2-min read
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China has warned the Morrison government to stop hyping up the possibility of military conflict in the region. 

Defence Minister Peter Dutton once again spoke of the growing threat China poses, comparing China's rise to 1930s Nazi Germany.

"We are grappling with a regional environment far-more complex and far-less predictable than at any time since the Second World War," he said on Wednesday.

A furious Zhao Lijian, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson who infuriated Prime Minister Scott Morrison last year for his provocative tweet about Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, branded Mr Dutton's remarks as "extremely dangerous and irresponsible behaviour".

Australia's relations with Chin have rapidly deteriorated over the past two years. Source: Getty
Australia's relations with Chin have rapidly deteriorated over the past two years. Source: Getty

"The Australian government official was openly hyping up the so-called China threat theory and wantonly criticising and attacking China. This fully exposed his Cold War mentality and ideological bias," he told reporters on Friday evening.

Mr Zhao reiterated Beijing's stance it has not done anything to threaten Australia's sovereignty, instead suggesting Canberra has sought trouble and conflict.

"It is Australia that has time and again violated international law and basic norms of international relations and grossly interfered in China’s domestic affairs, provoking tension and confrontation as if it wished for nothing more than trouble," he said.

Zhao Lijian did not hold back on Friday. Source: FMPRC
Zhao Lijian did not hold back on Friday. Source: FMPRC

In an ominous warning, Mr Zhao suggested Australia could suffer if it continued to pursue such a narrative.

"We hope Australian politicians will stop sensationalising the so-called China threat theory and seeing China as the “imagined enemy”, or else the stone they are lifting will end up falling on their feet," he said.

It's not the first time Mr Dutton has spoken of the physical threat of China saying on Anzac Day he could not rule out conflict in the region in the coming years.

Those comments came days after Department of Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo said the "drums of war" were beating in the region.

Mr Zhao's remarks follow fellow spokesperson Wang Wenbin hitting out at Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for his comments on China's alleged coercion and that Australian businesses should seek other nations for trade.

Mr Wang branded the Australian government as "bullies" and accused Canberra itself of economic coercion. 

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