AUSTRALIA, THE NEW BETE NOIR
China is once again resolutely indignant of another country friendly to Japan — this time, Australia.
Furious over Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s warm reception in Australia during a recent state visit, Beijing has lashed out against the South Pacific nation as a land where rascals and outlaws roamed.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reached out to Japan to forge stronger economic and defense ties. He has called Japan Australia’s “best friend in Asia.”
China is Australia’s largest trade partner. In his comments promoting friendship with Japan, Mr. Abbott also has stated that he respects good relations with China, which the Beijing-based Global Times said was “the most stupid balancing act” in a July 10 commentary written by a Chinese military commentator.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has vowed that Australia will “stand up to China to defend peace, liberal values and the rule of law.”
In response, China’s state-controlled media called Ms. Bishop “a complete fool.”
Miles Yu’s column appears Fridays. He can be reached at [email protected] and @Yu_Miles.