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China's ambitions not restricted to Taiwan: Australian Defence Minister


Nepalnews
ANI
2022 Mar 10, 14:46, Canberra, Australia
Source: ANI

Those who think China's ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region are restricted to Taiwan don't understand history, Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said.

"When you look at what's happening in Europe at the moment, people who believe that President Putin's only ambition is for Ukraine don't understand the history that our military leaders understand," Dutton told reporters as the country announced measures to boost the country's defence forces.

"If people think that the ambitions within the Indo-Pacific are restricted just to Taiwan and there won't be knock-on impacts if we don't provide a deterrent effect and work closely with our colleagues and with our allies, then they don't understand the lessons of history," he added.

This comes as the Australian government is set to allocate more than USD 27 billion to boost the national defence and increase the number of military employees by some 18,000 until 2040.

The number of uniformed personnel will reach about 80,000 while the number of permanent defence employees will surpass 101,000 in 2040.

Last week, leaders of the Quad grouping had agreed that what is happening to Ukraine should not be allowed to happen in the Indo-Pacific.

On Tuesday, Australia's intelligence chief had said a "troubling new strategic convergence" between Beijing and Moscow has developed and the risk of "major power conflict" had grown since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Andrew Shearer, Australia's director-general of the Office of National Intelligence, said China's President Xi Jinping appears to be planning to dominate the Indo-Pacific region and use it as a base to overtake the US as the world's leading power.

In response to these comments, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, "He'd better on focusing on Australia's own business."

"I haven't seen the reports. If he did say so, I think that would be met with strong opposition from China and Russia. He'd better on focusing on Australia's own business...," he said.

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