File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
US ally Australia is effectively edging towards a break-up with China with trade ties being disrupted even though China is Australia's biggest export market
It is the advent of Cold War 2.0 with America and its allies on one side and on the other China and Russia involving suspicion, hostility, and aggression including military muscle-flexing without exchanging fire.
It is has been happening as standard characteristics of the Cold War which played out from 1945 to the end of the 1980s.
Now, America is taking on China and recruiting allies. US ally Australia is effectively edging towards a break-up with China with trade ties being disrupted even though China is Australia's biggest export market.
China makes up 30 per cent of Australia's exports which is close to 7 per cent of its GDP. Chinese students and tourists bring big money to Australia. China has been leveraging everything. It has now blocked beef and barley imports from Australia after PM Scott Morrison demanded an investigation into the coronavirus outbreak.
However, Australia remains firm and hasn't backed down. Then there is Japan upping the ante. Japan's chief cabinet secretary has spoken about the Uighurs in China.
Yoshi-hide Suga while addressing the press was asked a question about the Uighurs, the Japanese leader said Tokyo is watching China closely. Japan is also working overtime to pull its businesses out of China.
President Trump may be famous for his U-turns but for days now he's been taking on China openly. On Thursday, during an interview the US president threatened to kill America's diplomatic relationship with China. Trump blamed the Chinese government for spreading the virus and said he doesn't want to speak to President Xi Jinping.
China foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian gave a measured response but he seemed to lose his cool when Taiwan was mentioned with hostility evident.
Recently, US secretary Mike Pompeo held a video conference with foreign ministers of seven countries. The idea was to get them on board against China. India's external minister S Jaishankar was part of the digitial meeting. Israel and South Korea were among the other participants.
Reports say the conversation lasted 75 minutes with the US focus on making China pay by restructuring supply chains and dent China's domination over world trade. The confrontation could escalate on Monday when WHO members meet for the world health assembly, not in person, but on video conference, thanks to the Wuhan virus.