Chinese state-run media has called Australia "an ideal target for China to warn and strike" if it ventures into the contested South China Sea.

The Global Times, known for its hard-line nationalist stance, blasted Canberra on Saturday in an editorial slamming its support for the July 12 ruling by an international arbitration tribunal at The Hague that invalidated China's historical claims to much of the South China Sea.

Piling on insults, the paper called Australia a "country with an inglorious history. ... at first an offshore prison of the UK. ... established through uncivilized means, in a process filled with the tears of the aboriginals."