Former Australian Defense Minister Warns of Possible War with China in Indo-Pacific

The likelihood of a war in the Asia -Pacific region involving China is growing.

According to the statement of the former Australian defense minister, Christopher Pyne, who also mentioned Taiwan as the next conflict area.

In his speech to graduate students from the University of Adelaide, the Liberal party politician said “the strategic actions taken by the people of the People’s Republic of China are not as tame as they used to be”.

This consequently raised concerns for the United States and its allies.

“In fact, China is confident and capable, and is not ashamed to show it,” Christopher warned the students.

Christopher, who ended his term as Australian Defense Minister in 2019, said the possibility of a “military war” in the Indo-Pacific region is currently greater than when he was minister.

“Five years ago I could say it was possible [terjadinya perang] very small, now I’m forced to say the odds are greater than that time, “he said.

“Not a cyber war, but a real war that causes casualties, destroys military defenses, against the attacker and the attacker.”

“It’s not just a word, but it’s something I and you will probably face five to 10 years from now.”

Since leaving politics, Christopher has come under heavy criticism for his lobbying activities for companies in the military sector in Australia.

However, he was still able to make a speech to graduates of the Faculty of Law from the University of Adelaide, last Monday (12/04), about how he thought China’s power in the military field was growing rapidly.

“Although the United States is still the country in the world that spends one in two dollars on military purposes, the shocking data show China’s defense budget in 2021 is $ 210 billion,” he said.

“The Chinese military forces are well prepared to face asymmetric warfare with America and its allies in western and southeastern Asia. Australia is one of its allies.”

Avoiding war is a top priority

Last month, Marshal Philip S Davidson, of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, said it was imperative for the United States to defend its territory in the Pacific from the possible entry of China.

In his speech, Christopher also mentioned recent actions China has taken to support its argument about the increasingly urgent threat from the Chinese military.

Such actions include how China took over Hong Kong and ignored criticism of its treatment of the Uyghur ethnic group.

“It feels like they are strong enough to control the South China Sea, even though they promised during the Obama administration in Washington that they would not turn the reefs and shoals into military territory, [mereka] keep doing, “he said.

“What is most worrying is its pressure on Taiwan, the area most likely to become a source of conflict in the region.”

In early April, a senior US diplomat confirmed that Australia and the United States had discussed contingency plans in the event of a military conflict over Taiwan.

However, Pyne said “avoiding war is the most important defense and a foreign policy priority as a nation”.

“This will not be achieved if we distance ourselves from our allies such as the US, Japan and India. In fact, the opposite should be done,” Payne said.

“Nobody wants to impose a containment policy against China, however, everyone wants to build a cooperative policy with China that can benefit the whole region.”

This article is produced by Sastra Wijaya from the article at ABC News.

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