Multi-million expansion of Australian military bases in signal to China

Defence Minister Peter Dutton says Australia will however work to try to maintain peace

Defence Minister Peter Dutton says Australia will however work to try to maintain peace

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said she had approved of the wording of Pezzullo's message. "We need to deal with all of that, and that is exactly what we are now focused on".

On the same occasion, Defense Minister Peter Dutton raised the prospect of conflict between China and Taiwan, saying that he did not think this possibility "should be discounted".

"It's hoped that the Australian side will fully recognize that the Taiwan question is highly sensitive, abide by the one-China principle, be prudent in its words and deeds, avoid sending any wrong signals to the Taiwan independence separatist forces and act in ways beneficial to peace and stability, " Wang said.

How have Australian politicians reacted to the remarks?

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"Nobody wants to see conflict between China and Taiwan or anywhere else in the world, " Dutton said. He cited USA wartime generals Douglas MacArthur and President Dwight Eisenhower, saying Australians should not forget the lessons of World War II and the subsequent build-up of Soviet military power.

Australia must reduce the likelihood of war, "but not at the cost of our precious freedom", Pezzullo said.

The comments follow the contentious decision by Foreign Minister Marise Payne to scrap Victoria's controversial infrastructure agreement with Beijing linked to China's Belt and Road initiative.

Wang stressed at a daily news briefing that abiding by the one-China principle is an inherent requirement of developing China-Australia relations, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory.

Russian troop numbers near Ukraine's borders not sufficient for large-scale offensive - ICG
The offer came after Zelenskyy invited the Russian leader to meet him for talks in Ukraine's war-ravaged east. Shoigu said that the military taking part in the drills should return to their bases by May 1.

During a speech on Monday outlining her vision for the island nation's relationship with Beijing, New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said her government would resist efforts by its allies, including Australia, to expand the role of Five Eyes to combat increasing Chinese aggression.

Australia's diplomatic relations with China, its largest trading partner, have worsened since Canberra called for an global inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus which was first reported in the Chinese city Wuhan, prompting trade reprisals from Beijing.

Australia's relationship with China, its top trading partner, started to significantly deteriorate in April past year, when Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, which was first registered in Wuhan in the country's Hubei province in December 2019.

"There's a lot of focus on overt, crude military intervention", Goldman told the Australian National University's National Security podcast.

Tensions have simmered between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea, with the Philippines most recently protesting the presence of Chinese vessels near disputed reefs.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton has warned about China's militarisation of Asia Pacific ports.

"Barely discussed is that an unimaginable range of Australian military and civilian facilities and infrastructure can be knocked out by [China's] cruise missiles", aerospace analyst Bradley Perrett wrote for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in February.

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