An editorial in a state-run Chinese newspaper has warned Australian ships to stay away from the South China Sea as tensions between the two countries increase.
The Global Times, a daily tabloid that is politically aligned with the Chinese Communist Party, today published an editorial claiming Prime Minister Scott Morrison “shamelessly” asked for an apology over a doctored image of an Australian soldier was posted on Twitter.
In the editorial the paper made a thinly veiled swipe at an Australian presence in the South China Sea, warning it will be forced to swallow “bitter pills”.
“Australia treats China’s goodwill with evil. It is not worthy to argue with it. If it does not want to do business with China, so be it. Its politics, military and culture should stay far away from China – let’s assume the two countries are not on the same planet,” the paper argued.
“As a warhound of the US, Australia should restrain its arrogance.
“Particularly, its warships must not come to China’s coastal areas to flex muscles, or else it will swallow the bitter pills.”
The editorial blazed at Mr Morrison’s request for an apology, a request it says China “ruthlessly rejected”.
“Morrison claimed that his country felt offended so he shamelessly demanded an apology from China,” The Global Times wrote.
“This was ruthlessly rejected by China’s Foreign Ministry and ridiculed by the Chinese people.
“Australia now has such a rude and arrogant government and a group of political and opinion elites who don’t have a clear estimation of themselves.”
While deliberately divisive, the sentiment made by The Global Times was not dissimilar to a statement made by the Chinese Embassy this morning, which claimed Australia’s outrage was “unacceptable”.
“We would like to further stress the following: the rage and roar of some Australian politicians and media is nothing but misreading of and overreaction to Mr Zhao’s tweet. The accusations made are simply to serve two purposes,” a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy said.
“One is to deflect public attention from the horrible atrocities by certain Australian soldiers. The other is to blame China for the worsening of bilateral ties.
“There may be another attempt to stoke domestic nationalism.”
What is The Global Times?
The Global Times is an English-language daily newspaper and website that was founded in 2009 and is known as one of the biggest English newspapers in China.
The paper is famously politically aligned with the Chinese Communist Party, and is published by The People’s Daily, a newspaper group that is the official mouthpiece of the CCP.
In May 2016, the paper ran a campaign urging a boycott of singer Denise Ho for her stance on wishing democracy for Hong Kong.
This year the paper was accusing of disseminating disinformation related to the coronavirus epidemic, primarily via targeted Facebook ads.