South China Sea: US strategy makes ‘Biden look soft’ as Australia erupts at rival | World | News

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s willingness to infuriate China, particularly in his latest move to escalate the row over Taiwan, are part of a strategy to ensure that Mr Biden will be perceived as weak, Mr Rudd claimed. He argued that this could see already tense relations hit a new low, leaving many rivals – including Australia – upset at Mr Pompeo’s decisions ahead of Mr Biden’s inauguration later this month. Mr Rudd, leader of Australia in two spells between 2007 and 2013, argued that Mr Pompeo had created “strategic…

Suspected Chinese submarine drone found by Indonesian fishermen in crucial maritime passage to Australia

Indonesian fishermen have discovered a suspected Chinese submarine drone in waters considered strategically important to Australia. Key points: The unmanned underwater vehicle was reportedly found just before Christmas near Indonesia’s Selayar Island Security experts say the high-tech unpowered surveillance drone is known as a glider and relies on variable-buoyancy propulsion The captured drone reportedly gathers oceanographic data including temperature, turbidity, salinity, chlorophyll and oxygen levels Images published in local media show Indonesian military officers posing with the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that was found just before Christmas near Selayar Island…

China news: Beijing blasts Australia ‘warhound of US’ as tensions escalate | World | News

Australia and China have traded sharp words in recent months on a number of issues, including trade and human rights. Australia joined dozens of nations in condemning China’s human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims earlier this year and has also rejected China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea. Meanwhile China recently slapped huge tariffs on Australian wine imports and has spoken out about a report linking Australian soldiers to civilian murders in Afghanistan. The state-run Global Times newspaper recently referred to Australia as a “savage accomplice of US suppression…

Taiwan foreign minister calls on Australia to help defend against China’s ‘expansionism’

As Australia’s relationship with China worsens, Taiwan has called on Canberra to stand up for democracy and help defend the disputed island territory against threats of attack. Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has warned the risk of regional conflict is “higher than before” because of Beijing’s increasing aggression and authoritarianism. Mr Wu has called on democracies including Australia to support Taiwan through sharing information and intelligence. In an exclusive interview with ABC TV’s The World, Mr Wu accused China of “expansionism” that is a direct threat to Taiwan. “China has…

China slaps 200% tax on Australia wine amid tensions

BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday added wine to the growing list of Australian goods barred from its markets in a trade war against Australia over disputes including its support for a probe into the origin of the coronavirus. The Ministry of Commerce imposed import taxes of up to 212.1 percent, effective Saturday, which Australia’s trade minister said make Australian wine unsellable in China, his country’s biggest export market. China increasingly is using its populous market as leverage to extract political concessions and increase its strategic influence. Earlier, China stopped…

China slaps Australia with eye-watering 200% tax on wine exports as trade war erupts | World | News

Beijing has slapped a 200 percent tax on Australian wine as tensions rise between the two nations. Australia has drawn the wrath of Beijing by calling for an international investigation into China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. A strain in relations has also been amplified by China detaining Australian journalist Cheng Lei without charge. Canberra has also attacked China’s expansionist ambitions in the South China Sea that has seen Australia sign a mutual defence agreement with Japan, a traditional rival to Beijing. All of the contentions between both…

Xi Jinping’s major Australia miscalculation

Chairman Xi Jinping is urging his nation onwards and upwards on a new Silk Road towards international dominance. But he’s hit an unexpected roadblock: Australia. Now he’s getting angry. And his “wolf-warrior” diplomats are leaping into the fray. “China is angry. If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy,” a Chinese diplomat “leaked” to Nine Newspapers on Tuesday. And it’s all Australia’s fault. “Responsibility for causing this situation has nothing to do with China,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a conveniently timed address to state-controlled…

China to Australia: stop treating us as a threat or we won’t pick up the phone | Australia news

Chinese government ministers won’t start answering phone calls from their Australian counterparts unless Canberra stops treating Beijing as a strategic threat, a senior embassy official has warned. China is urging the Morrison government to make a clear decision on whether it sees Beijing as a “threat” or an “opportunity”, setting this up as a key precondition for resuming ministerial-level talks, which have been frozen since early this year. In a sign there is no clear offramp from the serious diplomatic rift, a Chinese embassy official told Guardian Australia it was…

China’s letter shows Australia won’t be out of the diplomatic freezer

But it could be widely interpreted that way, which is a concern in and of itself. In truth, Frydenberg’s comments that Australia stood ready to engage in “respectful and beneficial” dialogue were rather unremarkable and did not contradict what Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has been saying for months. Birmingham has said the Australian government would like to have ministerial communications with China, but it wouldn’t deviate from its values, security and interests. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says Australia is prepared to have conversations with China about the diplomatic relationship.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen But…