News World Australia accused of ‘cold war mentality’

Australia accused of ‘cold war mentality’

South China Sea, satellite image
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The Chinese government has told Australia to abandon its “Cold War mentality”.

The warning followed the release of Australia’s defence white paper on Thursday, which criticised China’s disputed claim to islands in the South China Sea.

A Chinese defence spokesman said during a press conference on Thursday night that the communist state was alarmed by Australia’s response.

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“We urge the Australian side to cherish the hard-won good momentum of development in bilateral relations, and don’t take part in or conduct any activities that may compromise the stability in the region,” the spokesman said.

“The military alliance between Australia and the US should disregard cold war thinking.”

China has been constructing artificial islands and placing outposts on and near the resource-rich Spratly Islands, a group of reefs, islets, atolls, islands and cays in the South China Sea. The group is closer to the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, all of which also claim the area.

Australia’s defence white paper was released on Thursday. It confirmed the purchase of 12 new submarines and the recruitment of almost 5000 more troops.

It also pledged that total defence spending would rise to 2 per cent of gross domestic product.

On Thursday, Australian defence minister confirmed China had been brief on the white paper before it was released, but played down reports that a diplomatic official had been sent to China for the announcement.

– with AAP

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