Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Great. Just what the world needs -- another US secretary of state preaching the virtues of "freedom" while pressing for a coalition of the willing against an authoritarian power.

Fifteen years ago it was Condoleezza Rice talking up the need to confront Saddam Hussein. Now it's Mike Pompeo building the rage against China.

"This isn’t about picking America versus China. This is about choosing freedom and democracy against tyranny and [an] authoritarian regime," Pompeo asserted at last week's AUSMIN consultations in Washington.