Australia’s defence boost to counter rising Chinese power in the Indo-Pacific region

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media. Photo: Facebook Live

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 1 July 2020: The reason behind Australia’s decision to strengthen its defense spending, with $ 270 billion including acquiring $ 800 m worth AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles from the United States, Dr. Pradeep Taneja, Deputy Head of Social & Political Sciences, Melbourne University says is to counter, “The shifting balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region because of the rising power of China and it asserting it. And being the second biggest military power in the world.”

Another factor, Pradeep feels, “is Australia asserting independence by being self-reliant in defense matters, while maintaining its strategic alliance with the United States.”

In the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, announced today, the Morrison Government signals a key change in Australia’s defense posture, as it prioritizes the Indo-Pacific region.
 
The update provides a new plan to tackle Australia’s defense challenges while increasing investment and personnel across the entire Australian Defence Force.

The announcement comes amidst the recent tensions between Australia and China, its largest trading partner. Australia’s COVID-19 international inquiry support, China increasing tariffs on imports of Australian Barley and the recent hacking alert by Canberra seems to have tightened up relations between the two countries. Plus, Beijing’s troubles with the Trump administration and Australia being a US ally, does not cut ice with China.

In his media update, PM Scott Morrison when talking about “country’s interests in a changing global environment”, did not mention China, but it was obvious to which country he was referring to.

Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds said, “Defence thinking, strategy, and planning have shifted gears to respond to our constantly changing and deteriorating strategic and defense environment.”

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