China lays into Jacinda Ardern for supporting Australia


China lays into NZ PM Jacinda Ardern for supporting Australia

It’s busy slamming Australia but one of China’s most infamous Communist mouthpieces has found time to go after New Zealand too. 

Not content with antagonising Australia, China has now taken aim at New Zealand and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

A mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party thundered that New Zealand was “like bleating sheep” for backing Australia after a Beijing apparatchik posted a gruesome image of a Aussie soldier harming an Afghani child.

It also suggested Ms Ardern was effectively coerced into supporting Australia.

The infamously aggressive Global Times tabloid, which always in line with the central government’s wishes, is now so obsessed about the perceived misdemeanours of Australia much of the front page of its website on Wednesday was dedicated to Canberra-bashing.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ardern said the government in Wellington had voiced its concerns with the Chinese authorities over the tweet sent out by Beijing’s Foreign Minister Spokesman Zhao Lijian.

The image, which was computer generated, came in the wake of the Brereton Report which has alleged Australia soldiers committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the tweet was “repugnant” and has demanded an apology, which has not been forthcoming.

Ms Ardern said New Zealand supported Canberra’s position.

“This is an image that wasn’t factual. It wasn’t correct. And so in keeping with our principled position where images like that are used, we will raise those concerns and we’ll do it directly,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

Notably, Ms Arden’s criticism was more muted than that from Mr Morrison.

But the Global Times still stuck the knife in.

It published an editorial denouncing New Zealand claiming “Kiwis bleat like Aussie sheep but don’t condemn Afghan killings”.

RELATED: Why China turned on Australia


Echoing comments by China’s Foreign Ministry, the piece conceded the image in the tweet was fake but justified it by saying it was “based” on allegations of incidents involving Australian soldiers.

“The consecutive moves of Canberra and Wellington to describe the cartoon as ‘false’ or ‘unfactual’ are actually trying to shift people’s attention away from Australian troops’ brutality against Afghan civilians,” it said.

The article claimed Ms Ardern was effectively forced into making the statement due to the closeness of trans-Tasman relations.

“Arden’s statement has nothing to do with being wise or unwise; it is something she has to say.”

Yet several other countries have also backed Australia, including the US.

Incoming national security adviser in the Joe Biden Administration, Jake Sullivan, praised Australia today.

“The Australian people have made great sacrifices to protect freedom and democracy around the world,” he tweeted.

“As we have for a century, America will stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally Australia and rally fellow democracies to advance our shared security, prosperity and values.”

The Global Times noted the “restraint” in Ms Arden’s language, but called her two-faced nonetheless.

“Ardern has demonstrated that New Zealand will not stop playing double standard tricks the West uses so often. This is also part of the so-called Western values — the freedom to be hypocrites.”

The piece came close to accusing Ms Ardern of racism, saying “western politicians … do not accept the idea that other races are on an equal footing with them.”

It’s an interesting criticism to suggest Ms Ardern does not believe China is on an “equal footing” with it given New Zealand’s population of 5 million is dwarfed by the 1.4 billion people living in China.

China’s GDP of $US13 trillion also easily outweighs New Zealand’s $US200 billion.

Similar to Australia, China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner with $3 billion of goods and services passing between the pair annually. The Kiwis export dairy products, meat and wool and import electronics, machinery and furniture.

New Zealand has yet to face the trade difficulties Australia is experiencing.

Despite a few choice phrases, the paper stopped short of going fully to town on New Zealand or Ms Ardern. Potentially the editorial could be seen as a warning shot to Wellington that more criticism could be to come.

RELATED: Why China boycott plan is doomed to fail

To see what insults the publication could rustle up, Ms Ardern need only look across the ditch.

The Global Times has not held back taking potshots at Australia for months as relations have deteriorated. But since the tweet furore began it’s been all guns blazing.

Five of the website’s seven top stories were about Australia on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the publication called Australia “evil” and said that Mr Morrison’s demand for an apology was ”shameless”.

It warned Australian warships shouldn’t approach China’s coastal waters or the navy will “swallow the bitter pills”.

It also claimed that China meant no ill will to anyone.

On Thursday, theGlobal Times published a new cartoon criticising Australia.

The latest offering features an Australian Defence Force member posing for a camera while grinning and holding a sign bearing the words “human rights” – while standing on a covered, bloodied body which remains out of shot.

On December 1, the newspaper released another cartoon featuring a kangaroo in a suit with a bloodied knife next to it by artist Chen Xia, along with an editorial slamming Mr Morrison and defending the artist behind the original tweet.

That article demanded Mr Morrison and the Australian Government “take full responsibility for the deteriorating relationship with China” and claimed “Australia exaggerated and distorted Mr Zhao’s comment and use of cartoon over the crime of Australian troops, calling it “a false image”.

New Zealand could be next in line for the full tabloid treatment if it continues to call out China’s behaviour.


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