Australia has been warned that its northern borders are being exposed to attacks amid an increasingly aggressive Chinese military presence in the Pacific.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the United States Studies Center both issued assessments that a shortage of personnel and equipment in the Northern Territory is an urgent concern.
Security experts in the northern region of the country have pointed to & # 39; serious threats popping up at unsettling speed & # 39 ;.
Australia has been warned that its northern borders are being exposed in the midst of an increasingly aggressive Chinese military presence in the Pacific (photo Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife)
The Northern Territory is already being used for joint military exercises in the US and Australia (stock)
According to figures from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the number of Defense units in the northern area is at a low of 11 years The Australian.
The report from the US Studies Center, which will be released on Monday, adds that America no longer enjoys & # 39; military primacy in the Indo-Pacific & # 39; and that his ability to maintain a favorable balance of power is becoming increasingly uncertain & # 39 ;.
The reports call for targeted funding in the north of the country as a way to combat China's military expansion.
Author of the ASPI report John Coyne argues that the Northern Territory should be Australia's forward-moving military base, so that the country is ready to support a series of defense tournaments with little advance warning.
The area is already being used for joint American and Australian military exercises.
Since 2012, more than 6,800 US Marines have served with ADF personnel in Darwin, and another 2,500 are expected this year.
Defense experts have also criticized Australia spending 50 billion dollars on a dozen deadly new military submarines – according to the move, the country may even be exposed to an attack.
The government has signed a deal with the French defense contractor Naval Group to deliver 12 variants of their Shortfin Barracuda submarines – with construction already starting next year.
The decision to build submarines is a mistake and would make Australia vulnerable to attack – especially from China, said professor of strategic studies at Australian National University Hugh White.
The government has signed a deal with the French defense contractor Naval Group to deliver 12 variants of their Shortfin Barracuda submarines (photo)
Professor White was a senior officer at the Department of Defense and also held senior advisor roles for Bob Hawke and former Secretary of Defense Kim Beazley.
"Neither side of politics takes China's challenge seriously, and even if they do, they say we should cling to the US," said Prof. White, News.com.au.
& # 39; My argument is that I don't think American support is a sustainable solution. I think it is likely that the US will eventually withdraw from Asia. & # 39;
He argues in a new book titled & # 39; How to Defend Australia & # 39; that as China becomes the dominant player in East Asia, the federal government needs a different strategy.
& # 39; In a new Cold War, Americans should wonder if rescuing Taiwan from China – and maintaining American leadership in Asia – is worth losing Los Angeles and Seattle, & # 39; he says in the book.
We are currently building three new Air Warfare Destroyers and have a plan to build 12 new warships (the design is shown) as part of the Future Frigates program
Prof. White says that Australia should think about how it will defend itself in an Asia that is no longer dominated by America.
China, a nuclear capable force, is depositing money into its army at an alarming rate and has not shied away from flexing muscle tissue – especially in the South China Sea.
Prof. White believes that & # 39; sea denial & # 39; the most efficient way is to defend Australia – a tactic in which enemy ships are sought and sunk before they enter our waters.
This also prevents land-based attacks because ships are the only way an aggressor can transport the huge amount of equipment and troops needed to carry out an attack on an island nation the size of Australia.
This tactic would require a completely different navy than that of Australia today – and also the one it is building.
We are currently constructing three new Air Warfare Destroyers and have a plan to build 12 new warships as part of the Future Frigates program.
He believes that the role of warships in maritime conflicts is changing – and that these are the most useful for transporting cargo and troops.
The technical difficulty of the Shortfin Barracuda submarine project (photo) means that the last of the 12 submarines would not be delivered until 2050
China is pouring money into its army under President Xi Jinping at an alarming rate
Most of the actual warfare, he argues, will be conducted by submarines, drones, planes, satellites and long-range missiles.
He claims that the government does not have a coherent strategy for marine investments over the past decade.
Even the new submarines of Shortfin Barracuda are a mistake he claims.
The technical difficulty of the project means that the last of the 12 submarines would not be delivered until 2050 – Australia would leave without any submarines once the Collins class retired at the end of the 2020s.
He believes that a fleet of about 32 submarines is needed as soon as possible to attack ships that threatened Australia when they landed in the country.
The cheaper and faster option for upgrading and expanding the current fleet of Collins-class submarines would provide better security for the country, he says.
The money saved can then be invested in our air force, further strengthening our position in the region.
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT POSITION ON CHINA
Foreign Minister Marise Payne insists that her government hold an & # 39; informed conversation & # 39; talks about Australia's relationship with China.
Security comes when Labor Senator Payne and Prime Minister Scott Morrison encourage them to have a & # 39; sensible, calm and mature discussion & # 39; lead on this topic.
Spokeswoman Penny Wong of Labor Foreign Affairs has written to Senator Payne that a quality discussion is particularly important because Australia's relationship with China is a & # 39; new phase & # 39; has entered.
& # 39; Challenges can increase and become more difficult to manage in the future & # 39 ;, Senator Wong wrote in a letter sent Sunday.
The opposition also wants a & # 39; detailed and comprehensive briefing & # 39; on the subject prepared for all federal MPs, by agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Intelligence Agency.
& # 39; It is the duty of all MPs to protect and promote the national interest of Australia. Being well informed is the first step, & Senator Wong said.
The letter comes after the liberal backseat Andrew Hastie recently compared the global response to China's rise to Europe's lack of readiness for the rise of Nazi Germany.
Mr. Hastie, chairman of the intelligence and security committee, drew a mixed response from his coalition colleagues and conviction from Beijing.
Senator Payne says the Morrison government is already having an & # 39; informed conversation & # 39; conducts foreign affairs, including important bilateral relations such as Australia's relationship with China.
& # 39; The Prime Minister and I regularly deal with these complex issues. We have avoided resolute politicization of these issues & she said AAP in a statement.
The relationship is mutually beneficial, but that doesn't mean differences are ignored, she added.
& # 39; As Foreign Minister, I try to treat any differences with respect while remaining focused on protecting Australian people and our national interests, values and sovereignty. & # 39;
The minister said she would consider Senator Wong's letter as soon as she received it, after it was highlighted in a television interview.
But there is some material that only the national security committee can receive from the cabinet.
Detailed briefings are also received by the Federal Parliament's intelligence and security committee, where Kristina Keneally's Labor has recently replaced Senator Wong.
Other briefings are done through separate committees for foreign affairs, defense and trade.
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