Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that he will invest $270 billion to reinforce his country militarily, in view of the incursions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The Indo-Pacific is where we live—and we want an open and sovereign Indo-Pacific, free of coercion and hegemony,” Morrison said in announcing the investment, citing growing tensions and conflicts in the region, according to Australian News.
Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) Peter Jennings, further clarified the causes of the disruptions to regional security.
“When they talk about the bad behavior that’s happening in the region, the annexation of territory, coercion, the influencing of domestic politics, the use of cyberattacks—it’s really only one country, which is doing that at industrial levels, and that’s the People’s Republic of China (the CCP),” Jennings told ABC News.
The weapons to be acquired
The budgeted fund will be applied to cyberwarfare, undersea surveillance systems, space communication networks, and high-powered attack missiles, changing dramatically the strategy Australia has pursued to date to substantially increase its attack capabilities.
The missiles that Morrison wants are the AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship (LRASM) missiles, launchable from the ground or from the air, with a range greater than 230 miles.
Although they do not pose a threat to Chinese territory, their 992-pound explosive warheads threaten anyone seeking to approach Australian territory or outposts.
These missiles were restricted in the region, except for the CCP, which now rejects their presence, as expressed by the interest of the United States to install them.
“If the U.S. insists on the deployment, it will be a provocation at China’s doorstep. China will never sit idle and will take all necessary countermeasures,” recently threatened Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Wu Qian , according to News.
The Australian strategy
For Lowy Institute analyst Sam Roggeveen, Australia’s strategy is fundamentally defensive.
“The rise of China [the CCP] and Indonesia forces us to take a defensive approach, an ‘echidna [a sort of Porcupine] strategy’, if you will, that is not threatening to others but can harm them if they get too close,” Roggeveen said.
The investment exceeds 2 percent of the country’s GDP and will be made over the next 10 years.
The CCP has aggressively intervened in the interests of countries such as India, Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Japan, intensifying tensions with them.
The CCP did not hesitate to retaliate against Australia, because Australia requested an independent investigation of the origins and evolution of the CCP Virus (coronavirus) in China, given the apparent irregularities in its handling.
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) urged the union between the United States and its allies to counteract the CCP’s tendency toward “world domination.”
“We must do this together. All democracies are going to have to say to themselves: are we going to continue to appease the Communist Party of China, which is clearly focused on world domination, has taken jobs from democracies around the world, and stolen technologies from all of them,” Scott questioned.
The aggressiveness and conflicts that the CCP has provoked in various regions of the world have not gone unnoticed, and several countries are preparing various strategies to deal with it.