The leaders of Japan and Australia said Tuesday they will bolster bilateral defense cooperation, agreeing in principle on a "landmark" pact to facilitate joint exercises as the key US allies in Asia seek to counter China's growing influence.
Chinese Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijiang accused the Australian government of taking "provocative and confrontational actions.the Australian side should take concrete actions to correct their mistakes", he said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the Australian government makes "sound decisions in our national interest and in accordance with our values and open democratic processes".
Late yesterday, Xinhua also joined the chorus, warning Australia that its "ideological prejudice" was "poisoning relations between China and Australia".
The Chinese paper said Beijing's relationship with the USA will only worsen if Joe Biden's Five Eyes partners encourage Washington to continue its anti-Chinese actions.
Australia should seriously think about taking a rational and impartial stance in dealing with its relations with China, as many people in Australia are calling for, rather than accusing China and avoiding its own responsibilities, Zhao said.
Tensions mounted this year between Australia and its largest trading partner China, after Beijing imposed a series of trade reprisals after Australia led calls for an worldwide inquiry into the coronavirus.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, who has seen imports from several industries boycotted by China under his watch, has had his attempts to contact diplomats in China rebuffed for months.
Australia has responded by reiterating the ball is in China's court when it comes to repairing ties, yet Beijing is insistent the relationship is to be salvaged by Canberra by "correcting their mistakes".
Under the new deal, the two countries' defence forces will boost practical cooperation; joint involvement in multilateral drills will be facilitated; and a clear framework on the defence forces' operations in both countries will be formed.
The Chinese Embassy's decision to hand the list to the media seems created to ratchet up the pressure on Australia to make concessions on key issues.
The pact holds extreme importance to counter Chinese militarization of the South China Sea, its maneuvers around disputed islands in the East China Sea, and Beijing's growing influence over Pacific island nations further east.
"This is a significant evolution of this relationship, but there is no reason for that to cause any concern elsewhere in the region", Mr Morrison said.
"Such direct dialogue enables misrepresentation of Australia's positions to be addressed in a constructive manner that enables our mutually beneficial relationship".
It has criticized the Quad as a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Asia to counter China.
That naval drill, code-named "Malabar", was centered on India's Vikramaditya naval carrier group and the U.S. navy's Nimitz carrier group, said India's Defense Ministry.
Scott Morrison's tough stance on China has yet to waver. We "expressed serious concerns", read the statement.