Attention

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Friday, May 29, 2015

China Puts Weapons On Its New Artificial Islands

China has moved weaponry onto artificial islands that it is building in contested areas of the South China Sea, adding to the risks of a confrontation with the United States and its regional security partners including Australia.

Australian officials are concerned that China could also introduce long-range radar, anti-aircraft guns and regular surveillance flights that will enable it to project military power across a maritime expanse which include some of Australia's busiest trading lanes.

Fairfax understands that these concerns are prompting discussions in senior military circles that could lead to Australian naval officers and air force pilots embarking on "freedom of navigation" missions to demonstrate that Canberra does not accept Beijing's hardening claims.

The options, which include fly-throughs, sail-throughs and exercises involving various regional partners, are expected to crystallise after officials deliver a personal briefing to Prime Minister Tony Abbott during the next fortnight.

Already, diplomats have dropped "talking points" about Australia not taking sides in the multi-layered territorial contest, which Chinese officials have used as evidence of Australian support.

More substantially, Australia's intelligence agencies are upgrading the strategic threat assessments which will inform the Abbott government's first Defence White Paper, according to government sources. Late on Wednesday, Australia's top defence official, Dennis Richardson, brought Canberra's growing concerns into public view by telling a Sydney forum that China's "unprecedented" land reclamations raise questions of "intent" and risks of "miscalculation".

"It is legitimate to ask the purpose of the land reclamation – tourism appears unlikely," said Mr Richardson, delivering the annual Blamey Oration at the New South Wales state Parliament.

More

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not to worry. They probably have Obama's support because he said he would transform America. It's time the Republicans got off their lazy asses and get rid of this Muslim.

Anonymous said...

See what happens when you have a complete wuss for pres?

Anonymous said...

One more reason to cut back on trade with China.

Anonymous said...

POW!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Not to worry. They probably have Obama's support because he said he would transform America. It's time the Republicans got off their lazy asses and get rid of this Muslim.

May 29, 2015 at 6:27 PM

Well Said. I would like to see our own Andy Harris step up to the plate and do what we sent him to Washington to do. Sick and tired of hearing his answers as to why he can't or shouldn't.

I challenge you Andy Harris to defend your position on this.

Anonymous said...

China loans us money and then they are worried about going to war with us.