China Denounces Australia's warmongering "wild remarks"
Could Canberra be looking for trouble with Beijing?
China accused Australia's Defense Minister of slander and "wild remarks" after his recent statement, saying that Australians should "prepare for war."
“Certain Australian politicians often seek selfish political gains by making wild remarks to smear China and clamor for a war,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday. “Such despicable moves are seen through by the Chinese people and the international community.”
Peter Dutton, Australia's defense minister, declared on Monday that China is "on a very deliberate course at the moment," and that “we have to stand up with countries to stare down any act of aggression ... to make sure we can keep peace in our region and for our country.”
Dutton spoke to Australian Channel Nine, telling the Today Show that “The only way you can preserve peace is to prepare for war and be strong as a country. Not to cower, not to be on a bended knee and be weak. That’s the reality.”
With the nuclear-charged AUKUS pact whose aim is to target China, a rift arises between Australia and China over the Solomon Islands, which have recently signed a security agreement with Beijing.
Chinese military base on Solomon Islands 'red line'
Scott Morrison, Australia's Prime Minister, declared Sunday that the possibility of China building a military base on the Solomon Islands would be a "red line". He gave no detail away on how Australia would retaliate if Beijing were to build a base.
Both Washington and Canberra have been frantic about the Islands since Beijing and the Solomon Islands signed a security deal. The two Western powers, who've recently formed the nuclear-motivated AUKUS pact, deem the security deal "aggressive".
“Working together with our partners in New Zealand and of course the United States, I share the same red line that the United States has when it comes to these issues,” Morrison said. “We won’t be having Chinese military naval bases in our region on our doorstep.”
The Solomon Islands, situated about 2,000 km away from Australia, made international news last week when it signed a security treaty with China. A draft of the agreement was leaked recently, and it included Chinese promises of assistance in "maintaining social order." The agreement also allows Beijing to dock warships in the island's ports. Last year, the Islands experienced violent protests.
Manasseh Sogavare, the Island's Prime Minister, contends that the deal was necessary for the security of the country as it was guided by the island's "national interests". He also stressed that the agreement does not allow China to establish military bases on the islands, which is something Beijing also stressed.