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Is the Chinese Threat along Australian Borders Real?

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For more than one-and-a-half centuries, threats to Australia’s territorial integrity have remained relatively remote and very unlikely. The only time in history when Australian territory was subject to attack occurred during the years of WWII, when Japanese bombers carried out air raids, and the enemy fleet operated in its waters. Along with that, Japan chose the tactic of isolating Australia, and conducted its principal operations in strategic proximity to Australian shores, in Oceania. After invading New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, there were plans (not implemented) to capture New Caledonia, Samoa, and Fiji – the closest outposts avenues of approach to the Fifth Continent. This fact subsequently had a great influence on the defense strategy taken by Australia, since it demonstrated the pivotal role Oceania plays in Australian national security.

At this stage now, Australia is striving to bolster its defense potential. In 2020, Australia’s leaders announced that the country is going to spend over 400 billion dollars on defense over the next decade. On the one hand, this may indicate Australia’s desire for greater self-reliance by virtue of the weakening role played by the United States in the Pacific Ocean. On the other hand, the Chinese factor is now coming out as one of the main topics on the agenda for Canberra not only in terms of foreign policy, but defense.

As its economic weight grows, China is beginning to express an active interest in the strategic significance held by Oceania. It has already become a major trading partner for island nations in the Oceanic region that, just........

© New Eastern Outlook

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