Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said a clash over Taiwan could not be ruled out. Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo echoed this, suggesting the “drums of war” were sounding without specifying possible opponents.
Tan Kefei, Beijing’s Defence Ministry spokesman and senior colonel, addressed concerns on Thursday.
He said: “We express strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the recent provocative actions on Taiwan-related issues by Australia.
“Recently, Australia has taken a series of provocative actions and some people have even incited confrontation and exaggerated the threat of war on Taiwan-related issues.
“Such actions are incredibly irresponsible.”
Earlier this month, Chinese state media told Australia it would be the “first hit” in any potential clashes over Taiwan if it continues to “meddle” in Chinese affairs.
The remarks follow various war game exercises between Australia, the US, France and Japan in the East China Sea.
The exercises included amphibious assaults, urban warfare, and anti-aircraft defence.
An article in Global Times, a Chinese-state media outlet, warned Australia against hiding as it is within range of a ballistic missile.