A war of words has broken out between Australian and Chinese officials.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has hit back at claims the “drums of war" are beating in the Indo-Pacific region.
The comment was made by Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo in an Anzac Day staff address, who was speaking about growing military tensions between China and the US over Taiwan.
Pezzullo said Australia must strive to reduce the likelihood of war "but not at the cost of our precious liberty".
In a recent press conference, Zhao labelled Australian politicians “real troublemakers”, and accused the country of operating with a Cold War mentality.
“As a country that has long benefited from cooperation with China, it is unethical for Australia to hype a 'China threat' theory, nor is the allegation consistent with facts," Zhao said.
"We advise individual Australian politicians to abandon the Cold War mentality, stop making irresponsible remarks and do more to benefit regional peace and stability."
"It will end up hurting itself."
The comments come after Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a multimillion-dollar boost to Australia’s military bases in the Northern Territory over the next five years.
Morrison said the investment was not related to growing tensions with China.
"All the activities of our Defence Forces is designed to pursue peace," he said.
"This is another significant step forward in the steps we're taking as a government to ensure that our Defence Forces are always ready and that they have access to the best training facilities of anywhere in the world.