Chinese tabloid blasts Australia over Abe visit

Last Updated: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 16:57

Beijing: Australia, once "roamed by rascals and outlaws from Europe", is in no position to criticise China, a newspaper with close ties to the ruling Communist Party said after an Australian visit by Japan`s prime minister.

The Global Times newspaper condemned Australia`s Prime Minister Tony Abbott after he praised Japanese military personnel during World War II in an address to Australia`s parliament welcoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Recalling a submarine attack by Japanese forces on the city of Sydney, Abbott said: "We admired the skill and the sense of honour that they brought to their task although we disagreed with what they did," according to a transcript on his official homepage.

The Global Times dismissed the remarks as an "outrage".

Beijing is embroiled in a territorial dispute with Japan and Abe is a frequent target of Chinese state media criticism.

He became the first Japanese leader to address Australia`s parliament and along with Abbott oversaw the clinching of major free trade and security deals, including the sharing of defence technology.

The Global Times stressed that even as Australia sends exports to China it is "one of the loudest voices" condemning Beijing over human rights issues despite the country`s own faults. 

"Australia`s history is not short of records of human rights infringement on the Aboriginal population," said the English-language editorial at the weekend.

"The country used to be a place roamed by rascals and outlaws from Europe."

The Chinese-language version referred to Australia`s "filthy record of violating the human rights of Aboriginals".

The tabloid followed up on Monday with an article penned by former Australian diplomat Gregory Clark criticising what he sees as Australia and Japan teaming up against China.

"Japan and Australia are the odd couple in Asia," Clark wrote. "Canberra uses its long-standing close alliance with the US to justify the anti-China aspects of its pro-US and pro-Japan policies."

The weekend editorial also took Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to task for comments made last week and seen as provocative.

In an interview with Fairfax Media, Bishop said: "China doesn`t respect weakness" and Australia must "hope for the best and manage for the worst" in its relations with China.

"Bishop`s verbal provocation made her look more like one of the often pointless `angry youths` found in the Chinese cyber sphere than a diplomat," the Global Times said.

The Chinese-language editorial was in places more strongly worded, referring to Bishop as an "idiot".

She was already on the receiving end of a tongue-lashing from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi when she visited Beijing in December.
He delivered a stern rebuke after Canberra criticised China`s declaration of an air defence zone in the East China Sea.

AFP

First Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 16:57

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