Major Chinese state paper calls for a military strike on Australian ships that enter the South China Sea

China military parade, Tiananmen Square, 2009. Photo: Getty Images

China’s state-run Global Times has published an editorial attacking Australia for supporting the recent international ruling on China’s activities in the South China Sea and called for strikes on any Australian ships which might undertake “freedom-of-navigation” activities in the region.

The editorial said Australia “is not even a ‘paper tiger’, it’s only a ‘paper cat’ at best”. It says that even though “Australia calls itself a principled country… when it needs to please Washington, it demonstrates willingness of doing anything in a show of allegiance”.

As a result, the Global Times says (our emphasis):

China must take revenge and let it know it’s wrong. Australia’s power means nothing compared to the security of China. If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike.

Earlier this year, the Commander of the US Seventh Fleet, Vice Admiral Joseph P Aucoin, said it would be in the “best interests” of the region if Australia was to send ships to within 12 miles of the disputed area. Australia has so far not sent any of its ships there.

The editorial notes Australia’s strong economic ties with China as “its biggest trading partner” makes the reaction to the recent ruling of “disturbing the South China Sea waters surprising to many”.

It said Australia’s reaction to the ruling was “delirious” has called Australia a nation with an “inglorious history” which was “an offshore prison for the UK… established through uncivilised means, in a process filled with the tears of the aboriginals”.

In an effort to undermine any moral authority the Australian government might claim, both as a result of the recent ruling on the South China Sea on any reliance on democratic principles, the Global Times also referenced Australia’s claims over Antarctic territory as an example of this claimed hypocrisy.

It said Australia’s claims in Antarctica “showed blunt double standards as if no one had a memory of what it did and said over the Antarctic”.

“Australia has unexpectedly made itself a pioneer of hurting China’s interest with a fiercer attitude than countries directly involved in the South China Sea dispute. But this paper cat won’t last,” the Global Times said.

You can read the original editorial here.