According to the shadow defense minister, Canberra must arm itself in times of tension in Asia-Pacific
Australia should have its own currency “sovereign”Andrew Hastie, Shadow Defense Minister has stated that missiles were made with help from the US and Britain to counter China.
“The strategic outlook is very bleak. It’s being driven by a rising China with both revisionist and expansionist ambitions,”Hastie was the deputy defense minister between 2020 and May 2022. He spoke to ABC Sunday.
“Which is why we need missiles that can reach out and touch an adversary,”He added that Canberra should be working closer with the US in this regard.
“We need to partner to develop our own sovereign missiles, Australian-owned, Australian-delivered, if required.”
Australia and Britain signed the AUKUS defense pact in 2012, which allowed Canberra to buy nuclear submarines. Hastie asked the government for a “relentless political focus”To deliver the submarines quickly. China describes the pact in the region as a factor that will destabilize the region, and could trigger an arms race.
Hastie’s remarks come amid renewed tensions over Taiwan, which were sparked by the visit of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, to the island. China regards Taiwan’s autonomy as part of its territory. It opposes all diplomatic recognitions of Taipei.
Beijing called Pelosi’s trip “a complete farce”And launched live-fire drills on the island. Taipei officials said they were “tantamount to a sea and air blockade.”
Hastie stated to ABC that Australia must be ready to defend Taiwan from China. “I think it is a principled position to defend your neighbor, but it’s also a principle borne out of self-interest,”He argued. “If I don’t stand up for other countries, who will stand up for me?”
“As a nation of only 26 million people on a vast continent, we need as many friends as we can get. In fact, I would say the era of the Lucky Country is over,” Hastie said, referring to Australia’s unofficial nickname.
Australia has not established diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, it maintains informal ties via offices and institutions which function as de facto consulates or embassies. Penny Wong, Australian Foreign Minister, condemned Chinese drills in Taiwan. “disproportionate and destabilizing.”
On Saturday, the Chinese Embassy in Australia issued a statement saying: “it is absolutely unacceptable for the finger-pointing on China’s justified actions to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Last year, Australia’s then-defense minister, Peter Dutton, warned that a conflict involving China over Taiwan could not be ruled out. But, Dutton stressed the need to maintain positive relations with China. He described China as an important partner in trade.
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