A cartoon in a Chinese Communist Party-owned newspaper is certain to stir already existing tensions between Australia, the US and China.
Chinese state media has published a cartoon depicting Australia as a subservient and mad “yes man” to the US as relations continue to sour with Beijing.
China Daily, controlled by the Communist Party, shared the cartoon by controversial artist Luo Jie that was captioned: “Yes man to one, liar to all.”
It showed Australia riding a donkey and taking orders from US allies in a reference to the story of Don Quixote.
The story by Miguel de Cervantes, published in the 1600s, revolves around the character of Sancho Panza who acts as a squire to Don Quixote.
Australia is calling for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The calls have been backed by US President Donald Trump but China has only agreed to investigate how it handled the outbreak in Wuhan in January.
Another Chinese government-owned newspaper, Global Times, wrote that Australia “is already in a passive position in the face of wavering US policy” and “Canberra is forced to pick a side between Beijing and Washington even it is loath to jeopardise its relationship with China”.
The relationship between the US and China continues to deteriorate as experts warn of a new cold war.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Premier Li Keqiang arrive for the second plenary session of China’s National People’s Congress. Picture: Roman Pilipey/APSource:AP
An editorial published by China Daily last week called remarks from Washington “racist” and “out of tune with what the world badly needs in the fight against the novel coronavirus”.
“They arouse hate toward a particular country and people from a particular continent,” the editorial read.
“From calling the virus the ‘Wuhan virus’ or ‘Kung fu virus’ or even ‘Chinese virus’ to fabricating the story about the virus leaking from a Chinese lab, senior officials from Washington have shown no restraint in expressing their racial animosity.
“It is despicable and ugly for US politicians to make such hateful remarks. They should be held accountable for the rise of racism in the US against members of the Asian-American community.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra on Sunday. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAPSource:AAP
“Racism has long been a social problem in the US. But for senior US officials to appeal to racism to divert people’s attention from the grim situation at home reveals not only how prevalent it is but also the extent of their own failure to do a good job in responding to the virus.”
The Don Quixote cartoon is the latest in a long line of provocative illustrations in China Daily.
The newspaper’s archives include a recent cartoon depicting US authorities firing a machine gun towards China while an elderly citizen begs for help as coronavirus takes it toll on her.
The caption reads: “Sorry, no time.”