The workings of an upcoming white paper on Canberra’s thinking about security and military issues have come out, and the document shows that as China’s rise sends the region into a arms buying frenzy, Australia has no intention of being outgunned in the Pacific. The Hong Kong-based Want China Times has more on the white paper’s expected contents:
It is understood that the document will focus on a beefed up Navy and RAAF to counter China’s massive military build-up, and no new money for the army. […]The shipbuilding plan calls for an urgent “rolling build” of future frigates and offshore patrol vessels worth more than $20 billion.Combined with the possible construction of the navy’s $50 billion future submarine in Adelaide the plan will guarantee work for local shipyards such as BAE Systems in Melbourne and ASC in Adelaide for decades to come. […]Extra money will also be channelled to cyber security and space where satellite security is increasingly important for the Australian Defence Force.
We’ve been covering the arms race that China’s expansionist stance has kicked off in Asia. Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, India, and weaker countries such as Indonesia and Singapore have been investing in the gear they fear they’ll need to keep China at bay. Mostly, that has meant littoral combat ships, coast guard ships, missiles, and most recently, spy planes.Canberra enjoys a mostly warm relationship with Beijing, especially on trade, and that’s been a major economic advantage for it in recent years. But as it’s new defense policies make clear, chips on the table there is no question over whether Canberra would stand with a regional, U.S.-backed coalition bent on standing up to the expansionist might of a rising—or possibly sinking—China, and stand tall.