Experts assess that China is currently worried and continues to closely monitor Australia’s growing military capabilities.
“When Australia distanced itself from China, China felt the kangaroo country was getting closer to the United States (US). So all those sentiments came out,” said Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Relations.
According to experts, Australia has increased its military capabilities in the last 10 years. Now, China is concerned about Australia’s partnership with the US, which has the world’s strongest armed forces, where it could rival the expansion of China’s navy.
Once close relations between China and Australia soured again last week when Australia, the US and the UK signed a three-way security partnership called AUKUS.
The AUKUS deal is the latest in a series of events that have seen relations between China and Australia deteriorate.
Experts point to Australia’s three elected prime ministers who have tended to distrust China since 2013 as yet another example of the part of events that have soured relations between the two countries.
The situation is made worse by Australia’s rejection of some of China’s interests in the kangaroo nation, where China seeks supplies of valuable iron ore and coal.
Observers of the two countries say that disputes over Australia’s valuable natural resources, the influence of the US-backed military in Asia Pacific and politically conservative leaders in Australia have fueled strained relations between Australia and China. (ps/rs)