TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Andrew Hastie, a member of the Australia parliament, warned that the world’s reaction to China’s rise is now similar to its approach to Nazi Germany in 1940, which “failed catastrophically,” in an op-ed he wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday (Aug. 7).
“Like the French, Australia has failed to see how mobile our authoritarian neighbour has become,” Hastie stated. He argued that the sovereignty and freedom of Australia will diminish if its people cannot understand the challenge brought on by China as it rises to global power.
Hastie also pointed out that Australia “keep[s] using our own categories to understand [China’s] actions” but that it has failed to grasp the important role that ideology plays in China’s decisions and actions across the Indo-Pacific region. He then made another analogy, saying this failure is similar to how the West failed to see Stalin’s true motives.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attempted to distance himself from Hastie’s remarks by pointing out that Hastie is “not a minister in the government,” although he agreed that Hastie “was of course entitled to make comments as a member of the backbench,” on Thursday (Aug. 8). The Labor Party, however, attacked Hastie more fiercely, calling him “extreme, overblown, and unwelcome.”
The Chinese embassy accused Hastie of having a “Cold-War mentality and ideological bias,” and claimed that his remarks are detrimental to the relationship between the two countries.