China's chilling warning: Australia will be 'first hit'

China’s chilling warning: Australia will be the ‘first hit’ if the ‘insignificant’ nation meddles in Chinese conflicts – as Beijing boasts of ballistic missiles which can reach Down Under

  • Chinese propaganda articles says Australia will be ‘first hit’ in Taiwan conflict 
  • Beijing warned that Australia is in range of intermediate-range ballistic missiles
  • The tirade comes as Australian forces wrap up war games in East China Sea 

Australia’s military is ‘weak,’ ‘insignificant’ and will be the ‘first hit’ in any potential conflict over Taiwan, Chinese propagandists have warned.

The chilling message in the Communist Party mouthpiece, the Global Times, comes as Australian naval forces completed war game exercises with the US, France and Japan held between May 11 and 17 in the East China Sea.

The first ever training drill between the four nations called Exercise Jeanne d’Arc 21 – or ARC21 – practiced amphibious assaults, urban warfare and anti-aircraft defence – and was met with fury by Beijing.

Australia’s military is ‘weak,’ ‘insignificant’ and will be the ‘first hit’ in any potential conflict over Taiwan, Chinese propagandists have warned. Pictured: Exercise ARC21

Australian naval forces completed war game exercises with the US, France and Japan held between May 11 and 17 in the East China Sea. Pictured: Exercise ARC21

‘The People’s Liberation Army doesn’t even need to make pointed responses to the joint drill since it’s insignificant militarily,’ the article said.

‘Australia’s military is too weak to be a worthy opponent of China, and if it dares to interfere in a military conflict for example in the Taiwan Straits, its forces will be among the first to be hit.

‘Australia must not think it can hide from China if it provokes.

‘Australia is within range of China’s conventional warhead-equipped DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile.’

Over the past year China has slapped more than $20billion worth of arbitrary trade bans and tariffs on Australian exports as an apparent punishment for calling for an independent inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic – which first appeared in Wuhan in 2019.

Tensions were further strained last month when various figures including the likes of Defence Minister Peter Dutton, Former Defence Minister Christopher Pyne and Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo, all suggested the ‘drums of war’ in the region are getting louder.

Shocking disparities between Australia and China’s military power shows we would struggle in a war, amid fears that tensions both nations are nearing tipping point

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (pictured in a grey suit) has remained staunch in the face of Chinese aggression – with many nations now at loggerheads with the communist superpower 

Is Taiwan a country or a part of China?

Taiwanese soldiers hoist the flag of Taiwan in Taipei on May 10. China considers Taiwan as a part of its territory, but many Taiwanese people want the island to be independent

China and Taiwan have a long-standing dispute over the island’s sovereignty. 

China considers Taiwan as a part of its territory, more precisely a province, but many Taiwanese want the island to be independent.

From 1683 to 1895, Taiwan was ruled by China’s Qing dynasty. After Japan claimed its victory in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Qing government forced to cede Taiwan to Japan.

The island was under the Republic of China’s ruling after World War II, with the consent of its allies the US and UK.

The leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party, Chiang Kai-shek, fled to Taiwan in 1949 and established his government after losing the Civil War to the Communist Party and its leader Mao Zedong.

Chiang’s son continued to rule Taiwan after his father and began democratising Taiwan.

In 1980, China put forward a formula called ‘one country, two systems’, under which Taiwan would be given significant autonomy if it accepted Chinese reunification. Taiwan rejected the offer.

Taiwan today, with its own constitution and democratically-elected leaders, is widely accepted in the West as an independent state. But its political status remains unclear.

There are grave fears Beijing will use its ever-growing military might to ‘reunify’ Taiwan with mainland China.

China-watchers say annexing the island backed by the US and Japan is a strategic goal of President-for-life Xi.

In recent weeks, China repeatedly incurred on Taipei’s airspace and maritime borders, sending 25 military aircraft into its defence ‘identification zone’.

Pressure has been mounting democratic nations like Australia to keep Beijing’s forces at bay as tensions escalate.

The authoritarian state has become increasingly aggressive in its disputed territories, stamping out pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong and cracking down on Muslim minorities in Xinjiang under its ‘One China’ policy.

‘Australia must not think it can hide from China if it provokes,’ a Chinese propaganda article said (pictured, nuclear-capable missiles on display in Beijing)

Australia is within range of China’s conventional warhead-equipped DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile (pictured)

The communist regime also continues to encroach on Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei in the South China Sea and even had a deadly border skirmish with India last year.

With tensions simmering between China and democratic nations, the UK will send the largest ‘signal of maritime and air power’ in a generation to the region.

Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has set sail for its first operational deployment in a move set to infuriate Russia and China.

The $5billion warship, with eight RAF F35B stealth fighter jets on board, will set off for Asia on May 23 accompanied by six Royal Navy ships including HMS Defender and HMS Diamond, a submarine, 14 naval helicopters and a company of Royal Marines.

The Carrier Strike Group will visit India, Singapore and then to Japan via the South China Sea during the seven-month voyage.

How China’s feud with Australia has escalated

2019: Australian intelligence services conclude that China was responsible for a cyber-attack on Australia’s parliament and three largest political parties in the run-up to a May election.

April 2020: Australian PM Scott Morrison begins canvassing his fellow world leaders for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Britain and France are initially reluctant but more than 100 countries eventually back an investigation. 

April 15: Morrison is one of the few leaders to voice sympathy with Donald Trump’s criticisms of the World Health Organization, which the US president accuses of bias towards China. 

April 21: China’s embassy accuses Australian foreign minister Peter Dutton of ‘ignorance and bigotry’ and ‘parroting what those Americans have asserted’ after he called for China to be more transparent about the outbreak.  

April 23: Australia’s agriculture minister David Littleproud calls for G20 nations to campaign against the ‘wet markets’ which are common in China and linked to the earliest coronavirus cases.  

April 26: Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye hints at a boycott of Australian wine and beef and says tourists and students might avoid Australia ‘while it’s not so friendly to China’. Canberra dismisses the threat and warns Beijing against ‘economic coercion’. 

May 11: China suspends beef imports from four of Australia’s largest meat processors. These account for more than a third of Australia’s $1.1billion beef exports to China. 

May 18: The World Health Organization backs a partial investigation into the pandemic, but China says it is a ‘joke’ for Australia to claim credit. The same day, China imposes an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley. Australia says it may challenge this at the WTO. 

May 21: China announces new rules for iron ore imports which could allow Australian imports – usually worth $41billion per year – to be singled out for extra bureaucratic checks. 

June 5: Beijing warns tourists against travelling to Australia, alleging racism and violence against the Chinese in connection with Covid-19.  

June 9: China’s Ministry of Education warns students to think carefully about studying in Australia, similarly citing alleged racist incidents.   

June 19: Australia says it is under cyber-attack from a foreign state which government sources say is believed to be China. The attack has been targeting industry, schools, hospitals and government officials, Morrison says.

July 9: Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong and offers to extend the visas of 10,000 Hong Kongers who are already in Australia over China’s national security law which effectively bans protest.

August 18: China launches 12-month anti-dumping investigation into wines imported from Australia in a major threat to the $6billion industry. 

August 26: Prime Minster Scott Morrison announces he will legislate to stop states and territories signing deals with foreign powers that go against Australia’s foreign policy. Analysts said it is aimed at China.

October 13: Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says he’s investigating reports that Chinese customs officials have informally told state-owned steelmakers and power plants to stop Aussie coal, leaving it in ships off-shore.

November 2: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud reveals China is holding up Aussie lobster imports by checking them for minerals.

November 3: Barley, sugar, red wine, logs, coal, lobster and copper imports from Australia unofficially banned under a directive from the government, according to reports.

November 18: China releases bizarre dossier of 14 grievances with Australia. 

November 27: Australian coal exports to China have dropped 96 per cent in the first three weeks of November as 82 ships laden with 8.8million tonnes of coal are left floating off Chinese ports where they have been denied entry. 

November 28: Beijing imposed a 212 per cent tariff on Australia’s $1.2 billion wine exports, claiming they were being ‘dumped’ or sold at below-cost. The claim is denied by both Australia and Chinese importers. 

November 30: Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a doctored image showing a grinning Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child. The move outraged Australians. 

December 12: Australian coal is added to a Chinese blacklist.

December 24: China suspends imports of Australian timber from NSW and WA after local customs officers say they found pests in the cargo.

January 11, 2021: Australia blocks $300million construction deal that would have seen state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation takeover Probuild. The bid was blacked over national security concerns. 

February 5, 2021: China confirms Melbourne journalist and single mother Cheng Lei has been formally arrested after being detained in August, 2020.

February 23, 2021: China accuses Australia of being in an ‘axis of white supremacy’ with the UK, USA, Canada and NZ in an editorial.

March 11, 2021: Australia is accused of genocide by a Communist Party newspaper editor. 

March 15, 2021: Trade Minister Dan Tehan announced he wants the World Trade Organisation to help mediate discussions between the two countries over the trade dispute. 

April 21, 2021: Foreign Minister Marise Payne announces Australia has scrapped Victoria’s controversial Belt and Road deal with China using new veto powers. 

May 6, 2021: China indefinitely suspends all strategic economic talks with Australia, blaming the Morrison Government’s attitude towards the relationship. The move cuts off all diplomatic contact with Beijing under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, freezing discussions between key officials below a ministerial level.

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