Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, during BBC’s “Talking Business Asia” programme, requested all the countries to unite against China.
Countries should unite against China’s growing economic and geopolitical coercion or risk being singled out and punished by Beijing, he told.
His comments come as relations between Australia and China have deteriorated to their worst point in decades.
He said that the governments in the West should not be afraid to challenge China on issues such as human rights.
“If you are going to have a disagreement with Beijing, as many governments around the world are now doing, it’s far better to arrive at that position conjointly with other countries rather than unilaterally, because it makes it easier for China to exert bilateral leverage against you,” Mr Rudd added.
Relation between China and Australia has soured following a series of economic and diplomatic blows dealt by each side.
Australia has scrapped agreements tied to China’s massive infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative. It also banned Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei from building the country’s 5G network.
However, Australia’s support to Biden for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic set off a new storm between the two sides.
Mr Rudd, also criticised the current government’s approach to China, saying that it has been counterproductive at times.
“The conservative government’s response to the Chinese has from time to time been measured – but other times, frankly, has been rhetorical and shrill,” said Mr Rudd.