Tag: Australia-China

Australia urges Sino-Indian ‘restrain’ & ‘de-escalation’; backs status quo at the LAC


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 31 July 2020: Australia has urged India and China to show ‘restrain’ at the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control (LAC), ‘prevent escalation’ there and opposes any attempts to “unilaterally alter status quo” at the LAC. Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Mr. Barry O’Farrell in an exclusive interview with the ANI also said, ” We remain deeply concerned by actions in the South China Sea that are destabilizing and could provoke escalation. Last week, Australia launched a note with UB Secretary-General refusing China’s unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea”.

Meanwhile, China’s Ambassador to India Mr. Sun Weidong in a Tweet says: “Noted remarks by Australian HC to India on #SouthChinaSea disregarding facts. #China’s territorial sovereignty & maritime rights &interests are in conformity w/ int’l law incl UNCLOS. It’s clear who safeguard peace&stability & who destabilize & provoke escalation in the region.”

Pointing at border tensions between India and China, Mr. Barry O’Farrell said, Australia supports India and opposes any attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo as it only increases tension and instability.

“It is important that bilaterally agreed principles and norms, which help prevent escalation, continued to be observed, he told the ANI.

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

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.”

Scott Morrison sets up Taskforce in ‘response against foreign interference’

Photo: PM website

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 2 December: The Federal Government has decided to set up an $87.8 million new taskforce aimed to counter foreign interference and deter anyone attempting to undermine the country’s national interests. The announcement comes after Australian media reports of rising Chinese interference in Australia, though the media release today from the PM’s Press Office in Canberra, does not mention China or any other country.

A report in Guardian Australia says,” The Chinese government has dismissed allegations of espionage in Australia – including plans to install a pro-Beijing plant in parliament – as “nothing but lies”, insisting “China doesn’t interfere in other countries’ internal affairs”.

Dr. Pradeep Taneja, a specialist in Asian Politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne says, “Judging by media reports, Australian intelligence agencies believe that foreign interference activity in Australia is at an unprecedented level. In political terms, this has already translated into more funding and new powers for intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

While I have no reason not to believe the claims of intelligence agencies, the evidence presented so far is less than overwhelming. As taxpayers, we have the right to see evidence in the form of prosecutions and convictions under these laws. Perhaps the new Counter Foreign Interference Taskforce will gather that evidence and present it before the Australian public.”

“The Taskforce will work into the National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator that we established last year in the Department of Home Affairs and expand the resources the Coordinator has at their fingertips. It will be led by a senior ASIO officer and bring together a new team of Australian Federal Police investigators and representatives from AUSTRAC, the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation. The Office of National Intelligence will also support the Taskforce.

The new dedicated capability of the Taskforce will also increase the collaboration and streamline the decision-making between agencies, and strengthen Australia’s analysis of the sophisticated disinformation activities happening across the world, particularly against democratic processes and elections,” says the media release.