Wed, 16 Jun 2021

SYDNEY, May 5 (Xinhua) -- The Australian public should oppose some politicians' recent war talk on China and put pressure on them to divert the country from its collision course with China, an Australian scholar said.

David Brophy, senior lecturer in Modern Chinese History at the University of Sydney, made the remarks in an opinion piece titled "Australians don't want a war with China. It's time to raise voices against it" in Wednesday's Sydney Morning Herald.

Australia's discussion of China has been replete with the language of war for a long time, he said, noting that "this flurry of war talk has been met with anxiety, but also bemusement." The scholar believed there are both domestic and international elements behind it.

"Australia obviously can't pick a fight with China by itself, so what's it all about? Some claim that Scott Morrison is shaping up for a khaki election," he said.

From the global perspective, "bravado towards Beijing can be a way for Australia to signal to Washington that it is willing to step up and 'share the burden' of confronting China," he added.

In Brophy's view, the talk of war is becoming normalized in a dangerous way. Considering the close military ties between Australia and the United States, as well as the precedent of signing up to American wars without parliamentary debate, the public needs to speak out their opposition to the war talk.

A large number of the Australian people do not support Australia in following the United States into a war with China, the scholar wrote, citing a poll by the Lowy Institute last year, which showed that only a third of Australians support the idea of joining the United States in a war against China.

"We need to call on them (some Australian politicians) to ensure that the popular will informs policy," the article said.

America's military presence in Asia "serves American interests alone," Brophy stressed. "If America were to engage in war with China and summon up its allies, it would be for these self-interested ends such as preserving its dominance in Asia."

For Australia, these motivations would only bring "pointless and immoral wars" like those from Vietnam to Afghanistan.

"No one in Australia should contemplate fighting and dying in this cynical game of power politics -- not now, or at any point in the future," Brophy said. "Before the new Cold War turns hot, today's war talk needs to be met with a forthright rejection, and public pressure mobilized to divert Australia from its collision course with China."

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