Defense Minister Peter Dutton has said China regards other countries in the region as “subsidiary states” and warns that Beijing would quickly dominate Asia if it succeeds in conquering Taiwan.
- The defense minister warns that if China manages to invade Taiwan, it will occupy other territories
- Mr Dutton says he doesn’t think China wants to occupy Australia or any other country
- However, Australia needs to be a strong deterrent to Chinese aggression in the region, he says
Mr Dutton said Australia’s main wish is to secure the peace by preventing China from aggression with the help of other neighboring countries.
However, if China took control of Taiwan, it would quickly take other disputed areas, including the Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by both China and Japan.
“My point is that the regional order on which our prosperity and security are based would change almost overnight,” he told the National Press Club.
“Without counter-pressure, the Chinese government will become the sole security and economic partner of the Indo-Pacific states. It is a dangerous military and economic situation for our country, but for so many others.
Labor has criticized Mr Dutton’s recent statement that it is “inconceivable” that Australia would not join the United States if there was a war over Taiwan and accused the Defense Secretary of fueling tension with China in an attempt to win elections.
China accuses Dutton of “fueling conflict”
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Australia said Mr. Dutton’s press club address “fueled conflict and division.”
“[Mr] Dutton continued to preach his Quixotic misunderstanding of Chinese foreign policy and distorted China’s efforts to protect sovereignty and territorial integrity, ”the statement said.
“It is inconceivable that [the] Relations between China and Australia will develop well or the general interest of regional countries, including Australia, will be better promoted if the Australian government bases its national strategy on such visionless analysis and outdated mentality. ”
However, Mr Dutton said that while Australia “seeks peace” and “seeks deterrence”, the region needs to calculate the cost of inaction.
“Yes, there would be a terrible price for action, but analysis must include the price of inaction,” he said.
“If Taiwan is captured, the Senkakus will surely be next. Please do not rely on your imagination. The Chinese Communist Party couldn’t be clearer – not always with its words, but certainly with its actions. ”
Mr. Dutton again criticized China for its militarization of the South China Sea, its crackdown on Hong Kong and the intrusion of Chinese coast guard vessels into disputed waters of the East China Sea.
He also said his comment that it was “inconceivable” that Australia would not join the United States was not a formal pre-commitment to fight in a future war, but a declaration of confidence by the coalition in the US-Australia alliance.
“Under the Alliance, regardless of who is in government that day, [Australia] in the best interests of our country and other stocks that we would consider at this time, including our relationship with the US and other partners, a decision would have to be made as to whether to enter into this conflict or this campaign or this blockade or whatever would, ”said Mr. Dutton.
“And none of it is considered or known.”