Veteran American senator John McCain has said that China is “acting like a bully” in our neighbourhood.
Speaking in Sydney this week, Senator McCain, who ran for US president in 2008, cited China’s military build-up in the South China Sea, rampant Chinese cyber-theft of intellectual property, and Chinese restrictions on foreign investment as evidence of China’s bullying in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The idea that China is now the steward of our open, rules-based global economic order may sell at Davos, but people in this country and this region know better,” Senator McCain said.
He called for closer security co-operation between Australia and the US, adding:
“the real question, is whether Australia and America are better off dealing with China’s strategic and economic challenges together, or by ourselves. I believe the answer is clear.”
Senator McCain’s speech follows comments from outgoing Secretary of the Defence Department Dennis Richardson, who recently warned that Australia was being targeted by Chinese hackers and spies.