The Global Times, China’s state-run propaganda outlet, proposed Saturday firing on Australian ships that violate Chinese sovereignty in the South China Sea.
Following the revelation of the results for the arbitration of maritime disputes unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, the US, Japan, and Australia signed a joint declaration designed to force China to adhere to the demands of international law.
That the US and Japan supported the Hague’s decision did not come as a surprise, but Australia’s immediate willingness to offer its support shocked some in China.
The Global Times criticized Australia, a country “established through uncivilized means in a process filled with the tears of aboriginals, for its support.”
Critical of Australia’s double standards, the Global Times wrote that Australia acts “as if no one had a memory of what it did and said over the Antarctic.” According to the Global Times, while Australia believes that it was acceptable to claim the Antarctic continental shelf and cite Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), it backed the arbitration tribunal’s decision to reject China’s efforts to invoke Article 298 to prevent outside arbitration.
Infuriated by Australian support for the arbitration, the Global Times harshly wrote, “Australia is not even a ‘paper tiger;’ it’s only a ‘paper cat’ at best. 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.”
The article continued, “China must take revenge and let it know it’s wrong. If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and fire.” This is a particularly aggressive stance for a Chinese publication, even for the traditionally hostile and loudmouthed Global Times.
Adding more substance to the threat, the article ended with the simple statement, “This paper cat won’t last.”
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