Beijing only has to “win once” in the South Pacific contest: former intelligence boss

Australia needs to push China back “every time” in the South Pacific contest, but Beijing needs to win only once to reach that goal, warns the former head of the Australian espionage agency.

The comments come from Australia and China continuing to quarrel for influence in the South Pacific. Anthony Albanese was the first Australian Prime Minister to visit Indonesia just days after Chinese Minister Wang Yi finished his tour to eight Pacific countries.

Dennis Richardson, Australia’s defense secretary from 2012 to 2017 and former Secretary of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), pressured Beijing to finally establish a military presence in the Pacific on Monday. He said he would continue to challenge.

He said this would greatly complicate the Australian and US defense programs. It is “ultimately what the Chinese are”.

“This isn’t just about today’s or tomorrow’s challenges. This is a challenge for the next decade,” Richardson said. I told ABC Radio.

“Every time the Chinese step into this area to promote security interests in the South Pacific, we have to repel and always win the contest.”

“We have to win everything. They have to win only once.”

The warning is more “respectful” to the Communist Party administration as Australia’s Defense Minister Richard Marles praised Australia as Australia’s largest trading partner on Sunday, although the new Labor administration will continue to protect Australia’s national interests. He said he would adopt the tone.

Marls criticized for failing to disclose him in April “Parent China” speech I met his Chinese counterpart, General Wei Phoenix, at the Shangri-La Security Summit in Singapore, given at the Chinese Embassy in Canberra.

This interaction has been the first high with Beijing since 2020, when the Communist Party government launched a series of trade wars against Australia in an attempt to retaliate against the then liberal government, which demanded an independent investigation into the origin of COVID. Shows a level of contact. 19.

Mars describes the meeting as an “important first step” to rebuild Canberra-Beijing relations amid rising tensions over the Indo-Pacific and China’s recent interception of Australian fighters in the South China Sea. did.

“The relationship between Australia and China is complex, and it is really important that we are now engaged in dialogue because of this complexity.”

“As we move forward, there is a change in tone, but there is no change in the nature of Australia’s national interests.”

Former ASIO boss Richardson said the fact that the two defense ministers agreed to talk “on the first occasion” was “notable”, but Australia was “too far away from this.” It must not be. ” He further stated that “sterling breakthroughs” are unlikely to occur soon.

“The change of power in 10 years will bring this kind of opportunity,” Richardson said.

“There are still many fundamental differences between China and Australia, which the new government is fully aware of.”

Last week, the Pentagon revealed a dangerous incident in May. In this case, Chinese fighters intercepted Australian maritime surveillance aircraft in the international waters of the South China Sea, and Australian crew members were afraid of safety.

Beijing did not confirm or deny the case, but Chinese defense spokesman Colonel Tan Kefei claimed the warning was “false information” and accused Australia of “inciting hostility and confrontation.”

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based reporter. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected].