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PM Scott Morrison takes swipe at China, urges support from New Delhi in Indo-Pacific

Scott Morrison has taken a swing at China, urging liberal democracies to band together just days after his former colleague warned war in the Indo-Pacific was increasingly likely.

Scott Morrison has delivered a thinly-veiled swipe at China, warning economic coercion and cyber attacks are becoming the new “tool of statecraft” of authoritarian regimes.

On Thursday, the prime minister declared liberal values were “under assault” in a world increasingly threatened by authoritarianism, urging democracies to stick together in the Indo-Pacific.

“There is a great polarisation that our world is at risk of moving towards,” he said.

“A polarisation between authoritarian regimes and autocracies, and the liberal democracies that we love. “A liberal democracy and a liberal set of values that underpin the global world order that has delivered so much for the world. Mr. Morrison commented on the Raisina Dialogue, a multicultural meeting held annually in New Delhi, where he urged Australia and India to maintain a “shared mission” in the Indo-Pacific. The prime minister warned the region that “great promise” was increasingly becoming the focus of authoritarian regimes. “We’re not blind to the geopolitical realities. The Indo-Pacific is the epicenter of strategic competition,” he said.

“Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated, including from state-sponsored actors, and frequent.

“Economic coercion is being employed as a tool of statecraft.

“Liberal rules and norms are under assault.”

The comments were an apparent reference to an ongoing trade assault launched by Beijing against Australia, seemingly prompted by Canberra’s push for an independent probe into the origins of COVID-19.

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