• Chinese newspaper Global Times has written a scathing editorial slamming Malcolm Turnbull for suggesting the country cut off its oil pipeline to North Korea. (AAP)
A Chinese newspaper has written a scathing editorial slamming Malcolm Turnbull for suggesting the country cut off its oil pipeline to North Korea.
Source:
SBS World News
1 Sep - 5:01 PM  UPDATED 1 Sep - 5:37 PM

The 'Global Times' published the opinion piece labelling Mr Turnbull's remarks as "indiscreet" and "absurd" after he suggested China exercise its influence over North Korea.

The editorial also called Australia a "second class citizen of the West" and claimed Mr Turnbull's stance went even further than his US counterpart's.

"Although President Trump has complained about China in contradictory statements, he has so far never publicly asked China to cut North Korea's oil supply," the Global Times said, according to Fairfax Media.

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'Global Times', an English-speaking publication, also accused Australia of being the US's loudspeaker, writing: "This speaker works very hard, and very proud, but more and more it becomes local noise, self-righteously blah blah blahing."

The editorial went on to say there were no consequences for Australia if sanctions were imposed on North Korea and also claimed if war happened refugees would not flock to Australia to seek asylum.

"How can people not hate such a country who plays high-profile from a far distance and tries to instruct China what to do," the article read.

Mr Turnbull spoke to 2SM radio on Thursday about how China had "by far the greatest leverage" over North Korea.

"The Chinese really are in the position where they can stop, well they are committed to stop buying coal and iron ore and seafood and other products from North Korea," he said.

"They can go further. They could cut off their oil supply for example. So China really has to step up now.

"We’re not suggesting that China is responsible for what North Korea is doing at all but they do have the greatest leverage and with the greatest leverage comes the greatest responsibility."

The Prime Minister's comments came after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday.

The launch was met with widespread condemnation including from Japanese leader Shinzo Abe who said it was an "unprecedented, serious and grave threat".

Earlier this week, The University of Melbourne's Asialink released a report that found Australia was '"increasingly out of step" with its neighbours - in particular China.

"When it comes to China’s regional and international leadership, the gap between our views and those of our neighbours is troubling," the report said.

"Like our commentators, Australians are increasingly focussed on China.

"But our preoccupations seem narrow, limited and consistently negative – a surprising thing, given we are more economically entangled with China than any other regional country."

One of the authors of this report, Professor Anthony Miller, said Australia needed to start looking at a "B plan" to the alliance with the US who was now "weaker" in the region.

"The Chinese in their way are accusing us of being out of tune with the region and becoming preoccupied with being a US ally. Of course we are," Prof Miller told SBS World News.

"But we need to be careful of going out in front. I think working more closely with ASEAN countries, with South Korea and Japan, is very important to not be a lonely country in the region."

Prof Miller said Australia would also be a more useful ally to the US if it was more aware of its neighbours.

"The commentators we have contacted and who we have surveyed helped create an impression for us of Australia becoming lonely," he said.

"There seems to among those regional commentators much more concerns about the growing leadershiop of China. 

"One thing that’s important is talking vigoriously with our neighbours... we should be seen to relate to them."