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China aggressively responds to Australia's opposition to South China Sea claims

ww.nzherald.co.nz by James Hall27/07/2020  

China has fired a direct message in response to Australia declaring Beijing's claim in the South China Seas illegal, accusing Canberra of "recklessly making provocations" and blindly following the United States.

Through newspaper The Global Times, it declared sanctions on beef and wine exports are warranted and the broken diplomacy between the two is unsalvageable.

"The relationship between China and Australia has now deteriorated to a very bad point and the chance for a turnaround is slim in the near future," according to the article penned by Guangdong Research Institute Professor Zhou Fangyin.

"One of the main reasons is that Australia's policy lacks independence and its current choice is to closely follow the US lead.

"If Australia further provokes China, not only on political relations, but also economic relations, the damage to Australia should be expected."

The paper claims Australia is "not as tactful" as its Five Eyes alliance partners the United Kingdom and Canada, accusing the Morrison government of aggressively following Washington's lead against China.

"It should be said that so far Australia has not learned a great lesson," Fangyin's article said.

"If it still insists on going on the current path, the possibility that China will take strong countermeasures cannot be ruled out.

"For example, China could target substitutable agricultural products such as beef and wine."

The diplomatic relationship between Australia and China soured when Canberra led calls for an international investigation into the initial outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan.