Australia must be vigilant in the Pacific, where China’s territorial disputes remain: Minister

Australia’s Pacific Minister Zed Seselja warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should remind Australia to remain vigilant in the Pacific backyard, where China has unresolved territorial disputes.

of Editorial For News Corp Australians announced on March 14, Sesella said China “did not significantly condemn” Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, “self-satisfied with our own security. It’s not the time. “

“China has its own unresolved territorial disputes, increased military power, and deepening partnerships with Russia,” he writes.

“Now we are naive in Ukraine, but nearly 15,000 people [kilometres] Apart from that, there is no serious impact on our own security, “he writes.

The Australian Government has warned many of Beijing’s moves in the Indo-Pacific region.

Spratly Islands in the South China Sea
An aerial photograph of the Spratly Islands, an uninhabited island in the South China Sea during conflict, on April 21, 2017. (Erik De Castro / Reuters)

These include increasing China’s nuclear weapons stockpile, militarizing the South China Sea (turning coral reefs and islands into non-sinkable carriers), trojan horses, debt-trap lending plans, and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Australia “looks away from the ever-evolving and increasingly complex strategic environment in our backyard,” said Sesella, and “creates an opportunity for those who seek to destabilize our region.” He said he couldn’t do that either.

Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton previously said these moves were “not negligible.”

BRI is Beijing’s largest soft power business in the Pacific, and the communist government provides loans to developing countries. However, some people were unable to provide loans, resulting in the delivery of major infrastructure such as ports to China.

Two BRI deals between Australia’s Victorian Labor government and Beijing were abandoned by the Foreign Minister under the new power enacted in 2021 after the arrangement was considered contrary to national interests. rice field.

Despite Victoria’s Labor Prime Minister Daniel Andrews defending the deal, the National Labor Party upheld the decision to close the deal.

Epoch Times Photo
The port of Sihanoukville in Cambodia will be part of the Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese government. (Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP / Getty Images)

With Beijing’s marketing of BRI to the Pacific island nations, Sesella said, “It has become more important than ever to support democratic sovereignty in our region and strengthen relationships with Pacific families.” Said.

“None of us want to see the regional order weaken or destabilize,” he wrote.

“But we are not sitting and waiting for this to happen. By strengthening close relationships and cooperation in our area and strengthening our own strength, we are in national security. We are taking steps to protect our security. “

Australia’s ruling coalition government promised to increase its defense force by 30% last week and expects to increase that number to 101,000 by 2040, Mr. Sesella said.

Epoch Times Photo
A photo of the Q Store at the construction site of the BlackRock Camp Redevelopment Project in Nadi, Fiji, March 18, 2021. (Obtained from ADF)

Australia has also invested billions of dollars in major Pacific security programs to counter the effects of Beijing, including 21 Guardian-class patrol boats.

The Pacific Minister said Australia is providing approximately $ 2 billion in capacity, infrastructure, maintenance, training and coordination packages through the Pacific Maritime Safety Program to enhance regional maritime security.

Sesella also emphasized its recent security partnership with Fiji, Australia, strengthening its security capabilities and strengthening its ties.

Caden Pearson


Caden Pearson is a writer and editor based in Cairns, Australia. He mainly writes about national affairs, Indo-Pacific geopolitics, and COVID-19 measures and pushbacks. He has a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at [email protected]