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Reacting quickly to the recent announcement of a $26 billion spending rise in Australia’s recent Defence White Paper, the People’s Republic of China has issued a statement condemning the decisions made by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government and describing the Chinese reaction as “concern and dissatisfaction”.

The White Paper, released on Thursday, described a variety of strategic acquisitions on the part of the Australian Defence Forces, with a clear focus on naval and air operations, including maritime patrol aircraft and new attack submarines.

The spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, said that:

“It is hoped that the Australian side would take a correct and positive view of China’s development and strategic intention, take concrete steps and make joint efforts with China to increase mutual trust and safeguard regional peace, stability and growth. We definitely do not want to see tensions or arms race in the region. We hope that the Asia-Pacific would be a region where people from all countries enjoy peace…and that relevant parties would stop the so-called joint military drills and patrols, and cease constant reinforcement of military buildup in the Asia-Pacific.”

The Australian spending increase comes at a time when tensions are rising in the Asian Pacific region. China, which has been contending ownership for islands in the South China Sea, is claimed to have deployed surface-to-air missile systems on the disputed Woody Island, which is also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. The Chinese government has also been using reclaimed land on the contested Spratley Islands to build a 3000 metre long airstrip with capacity to project power over Australia’s northern coast with ballistic missile launchers and strategic bombers.

Meanwhile, the United States has been increasing naval power in the region, deploying ships, submarines and aircraft under what is described as ‘freedom of navigation’ patrols. On the topic of the Chinese regional military buildup, the head of the US Navy Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, said:

“We will be doing [patrols] more, and we’ll be doing them with greater complexity in the future and … we’ll fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows”

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. I was on an oil rig 60 to 70 miles off the Malaysian coast ( Sabha and Sarawak ) and across Brunei waters, between 2103 and 2014. Whenever we moved location we were followed by a Chinese Coastguard corvette with a PLNA destroyer in support. On arrival at a new location and at irregular intervals, the Coastguard would contact the rig informing us that we were in Chinese waters without permission and we were to cease activities and depart. Occasionally the Chinese would only withdraw when they were overflown by a Malaysian Hawk aircraft. Local fisherman were being told to stay out of the area. During this time a Chinese amphibious task force held exercises at James Shoal and the Commander told his Marine force to be prepared to fight to defend China’s territory. ( Text of his speech was reported on Beijing TV ). The shoal never actually breaks sea level but China claims it. It is 50 miles of the Malaysian coast. Hainan Island, the nearest Chinese coast is about 1000 miles away. The above shows that China intentions extend way beyond the Spratly Islands to the north. China’s annexation of the whole of the South Chins Sea has already started. The longer this annexation remains unchallenged, it’s momentum builds and reversal becomes unlikely. This is not about minor inaccessible oil deposits. This is about the Chinese civilisation’s conviction that it is it’s right and destiny, on behalf of a 1/3rd of the world’s population,to control a large part of the eastern hemisphere. I dread to think what would China’s reaction be if drought and pollution impacted on it’s domestic food production. No wonder Australia is increasing it’s defence budget.

  2. Given the recent disquieting and increasing threats emanating from China steps should now be taken by ALL major western powers to ensure that China gets the strong, firm and unequivocal message that any untoward actions against countries like Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore etc. will always and without fail receive whatever support and all protection necessary to ensure the full integrity of their sovereignty whether it be on land or sea including any attempts either military or otherwise to exert pressure to change the status quo of the post WW2 territorial boundaries in the region Putting one’s cards firmly on the table early could pre-empt any unfortunate future misunderstandings and escalation of the problems. It should be remembered that when the UK FAILED to fully inform Argentina that it was ready and willing to defend the Falkland Islands and it’s people they invaded them and the war started. I think the ship in the photo is a 220 ton Chinese Type 022 missile boat.

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