China’s state-owned media has published a scathing opinion piece that accuses the Morrison government of wreaking “unprecedented havoc” upon the relationship between Canberra and Beijing.
The article, published in China’s mouthpiece The Global Times, comes after the Prime Minister deflected blame over climate change at China following the release of a landmark United Nations report that warned human activities were unequivocally heating the planet.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Scott Morrison said it could not be ignored that the developing world accounts for “two thirds of global emissions”.
The PM pointed to the fact that China’s emissions “accounted for more than the entire OECD combined”.
On Thursday, the newspaper published an opinion piece, written by President of the Chinese Association of Australian Studies president Cheng Hong, that hit back.
In it, he slams Mr Morrison for “imprudently attempt(ing) to shift the public focus by maliciously accusing and making unreasonable demands to Beijing in order not to set a net zero target for Australia’s carbon emission”.
“There is a very aggressive tone of antagonism in his mindset about China, a kind of belligerence without any regard of the likely costs to the bilateral relations,” he wrote.
He also also pointed to criticisms by former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, who have warned Mr Morrison to carefully consider the implications of excessively strong and aggressive language over China.
”It is very rare for a sitting head of state to be criticised by a predecessor,” the article said.
“It is a naked fact that the Morrison government has wreaked unprecedented havocs upon Australia’s relations with China.
“The previously constructive and mutually beneficial comprehensive strategic partnership between Australia and China has been recklessly ravaged to an almost irreparable point.”
Australia is awaiting news on the outcome of a formal complaint made to the World Trade Organisation after China imposed tariffs of up to 218 per cent on Aussie wine exports.