https://www.globaltimes.cn-By Yang Sheng and Xu Yelu
Australia, US Illustration: Liu Rui/Global Times
When China is holding the Olympic Winter Games in its capital city Beijing to bring more certainty to world peace, the US and its ally Australia are still ramping up tension in the Asia-Pacific by tightening alliances to serve military confrontation, as the top US diplomat visits Australia for the Quad foreign ministers’ meeting and Australia’s defense chief tries to push Washington to be more hostile and radical against China.
Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton urged the US and its allies to be tougher on China after they “acquiesced and allowed” China’s “expansion” in the South China Sea over the past decade.
“If we continue on that trajectory, then I think we’ll lose the next decade,” Dutton said in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald published on Monday. “And my sense is that we’re better off being honest about that.”
Dutton made the comment ahead of a planned Quad foreign ministers meeting in Australia which US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to attend.
According to the website of the US State Department, in Australia on February 9-12, Blinken will attend the ministerial meeting, and will meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as well as his counterparts from Japan, India and Australia.
Chinese analysts said on Tuesday that Australia is no different from those US allies which act as nothing but US pawns on the geopolitical chessboard to provoke China. Since Canberra has bet too much on China-US confrontation, Australian politicians want the US to keep or even be more aggressive toward China rather than easing tension or seeking de-escalation, so their die-hard anti-China policy could remain useful for the US.
But this is truly irresponsible and stupid because such moves would harm regional peace and could result in an arms race. The US will never take its “pawns” into consideration if it decides to change its policy or quit a game it finds it cannot win, experts said, noting that selfish Australian politicians like Dutton are just trying to gain more political capital by risking Australia’s national security and interests.
By complaining about the US, Dutton is trying to attract political attention by spreading fear by making nonsensical points, as he wants to challenge Morrison for the Liberal Party leadership, Chen Hong, a professor and director of the Australian Studies Centre, East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
“The South China Sea has never been a core concern for Australia, and most Australian cargo ships that navigate the region are transporting goods between China and Australia, so how could China’s construction and presence in the region affect Australia’s interests and security?” Chen said.
Dutton is trying to set a hawkish tone for the Quad foreign ministers’ meeting even though he is a defense minister rather than a diplomat, Chen said. He noted that there are voices in Australia saying that Dutton should mind his own business and let more professional officials handle diplomacy.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis will also visit Australia during the Quad ministerial meeting and will meet Dutton, and according to reports from Lithuanian media, his trip is to seek more trade cooperation to “diversify its supply chain.”
Selfish and ignorant politicians like Dutton and the Lithuanian foreign minister are making their countries’ diplomatic policies extremely ignorant and inflexible, as they are just like anxious gamblers who have bet too much of their own countries’ interests on worsening China-US ties, said analysts. It was noted they have already sacrificed their countries’ ties with China to serve as “pawns or barking dogs” to offend the country with the biggest, most dynamic and irreplaceable market in the world.
“In fact, Australia and Lithuania share very limited complementarities, as the products they want to sell are mostly the same, such as alcohol like wines and beers. The decision-making of these stupid selfish politicians will continue incur losses for Australia and Lithuania,” Chen noted.
Although Japan and India are included in the US-led Quad alliance, Washington, Tokyo and New Delhi are at least able to keep effective communication channels with Beijing even when they also have their own problems with China, Chen said. “But Australia is the most radical and ignorant one in the Quad, so it wants to draw others into its pointless and hopeless fight with China, to make every one act as stupidly as it does.”
Troublemaker vs Peacemaker
While China is hosting the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing and has gained a series of diplomatic achievements with dozens of leaders from friendly countries and international organizations to boost certainty for world peace, the Quad meeting is more like a US-proposed event to increase the concerns about tensions and confrontations, which is opposite to the wishes for peace shared by the international community, said experts.
Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday, “The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games are a celebration that could greatly improve China’s image, so the US is not willing to recognize China’s credits.”
Lü Xiang, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday that China has gained too many achievements in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic and holding the Winter Olympics amid the pandemic, all of which have made the US extremely anxious.
“In the minds of some US politicians, they won’t be happy when they see you’re doing better jobs than them, they would be jealous and they will try everything they have to undermine your credits and achievements,” he noted.
The US-led “diplomatic boycott” has failed to bring any substantial impact and very few countries chose to take sides to follow the so-called boycott. The Quad is just another practice of forcing other countries to take sides between the US and China, Xin noted.
China and Russia issued a joint statement on Friday, saying that the two countries stand against attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions, intend to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext, oppose color revolutions, and will increase cooperation in the above-mentioned areas.
Analysts said that the US-led alliances like the AUKUS and Quad, both including Australia, are exactly what the China-Russia joint statement said about “external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions.” AUKUS and Quad also bring concerns to other countries in the region by allowing nuclear proliferation and increasing tensions to boost arm races, and such harmful moves will eventually isolate the US, Australia and their allies who want to follow them.