CANBERRA (Realist English). Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison refuses to meet with the new Chinese Ambassador Xiao Qian, who was appointed to this position in January this year. The Australian leader explains his behavior by the fact that there will be no diplomatic thaw in the relations between Canberra and Beijing continues.
“So long as China continues to refuse to have dialogue with Australian ministers and the prime minister, I think that’s an entirely proportional response.” said Morrison.
He believes that a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador “would be a demonstration of weakness.” “That would be a demonstration of weakness and I can assure you as prime minister that’s the last message I’d ever send to China.” he is quoted by The Guardian.
President of the Chinese Association of Australian Studies and director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University Chen Hong in a commentary for Global Times points out that Morrison’s refusal to meet Xiao shows great disrespect not only to Ambassador Xiao himself, but also to China, which exposes his growing hostility towards China.
“The Morrison government is going full throttle on anti-China rhetoric to boost his re-election bid, and this refusal to meet Xiao is one of its tricks,” says Yu Lei, chief research fellow at the research center for Pacific Island countries at Liaocheng University in East China’s Shandong Province.
On September 15, 2021, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America created a new anti-Chinese format for trilateral security cooperation — AUKUS. The leaders of the three states called strengthening security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region as well as a joint response to security challenges and increasing Australia’s defense potential as the objectives of such cooperation.
AUKUS is a product of the American diplomacy aimed at curbing the growth of China’s military power. Canberra became part of Washington’s new anti-Chinese concept, and therefore it was decided to significantly strengthen its military potential in order to use it against Beijing.