On Wednesday, President Joe Biden's top Pacific envoy accused China of trying to "drive Australia to its knees" through a barrage of sanctions that amounted to "economic warfare."
In remarks to the Sydney-based Lowy Institute, veteran diplomat Kurt Campbell lampooned Beijing for strong-arm tactics.
Painting China as increasingly bellicose and determined to impose its will overseas, Campbell said Beijing had engaged in "really dramatic economic warfare — directed against Australia."
Over the last two years, China has introduced a raft of punitive sanctions on Australian goods in a fierce political dispute that has frozen ministerial contacts and plunged relations into the most serious crisis since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989."China's preference would have been to break Australia.
China has been angered at Australia's willingness to legislate against overseas influence operations, bar Huawei from 5G contracts, and call for an independent probe into the origins of the novel coronavirus.
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