China has accused Australia of “blaming the victim” for protesting Beijing’s massive display of power against Taiwan, making an already tense relationship between the two nations even colder.
The Chinese embassy warned in a statement that Australia has no right to “point the finger” after China launched ballistic missiles during live fire drills following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island earlier this week.
The diplomatic reprimand immediately provoked a defiant response from climate minister Chris Bowen, who told the Nine network on Sunday that “China’s response to (Ms Pelosi’s visit) has been exaggerated… clearly it is a time for clear and calm minds.
‘Australia’s National Interests’
“We are going to act in Australia’s national interests and in line with our values… we will say what we think needs to be done in the region and we will make statements even if other countries disagree.”
A joint statement by Australia, the United States and Japan on Friday condemned the actions of the Chinese government and urged an immediate cessation of military exercises that have repeatedly led to violations of Taiwan’s borders and airspace.
The Chinese embassy in Canberra responded with a statement expressing concern and “discontent”.
“The actions of the Chinese government to protect state sovereignty and territorial integrity and to curb separatist activities are legitimate and justified,” the statement said.
“Instead of showing condolences and support to the victim, the Australian side has sentenced the victim along with the perpetrators.”
Opposition spokesman Andrew Hastie described the strategic outlook in the region as “bleak”.
Hastie supports Wong
A defense review announced by the government last week should ensure there are no cuts to Australian Defense Force capacity, he said.
“(Australia needs) more fuel supplies… we need more ammunition supplies… we need to continue investing in our cyber resilience,” Mr Hastie told TAUT Insiders.
“We need a relentless, political focus on providing (nuclear) submarines for our country.”
Still, Hastie supported Secretary of State Penny Wong’s diplomatic relations with China and Taiwan.
“Miscommunication, miscalculation, is the biggest risk and giving a little bit of room to… all parties involved to give each other the benefit of the doubt is really important,” he said.
“Things are a bit tense at the moment… eventually we need to continue working with China and Taiwan.”