Peter Dutton urges the Albanese Government to acquire military ‘deterrent’ as he warns of conflict amid China-Taiwan tensions – Michmutters

Peter Dutton urges the Albanese Government to acquire military ‘deterrent’ as he warns of conflict amid China-Taiwan tensions

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has lashed China for its “completely over the top” reaction to Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip and has urged the Australian government to “provide a deterrent” for potential regional conflict.

China has ramped up military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and East China Sea following the US Speaker of the House’s visit to Taipei.

The People’s Liberation Army launched five high-powered missiles across the strait with one entering Japan’s exclusive economic zone over the weekend.

Mr Dutton said China’s recent ratcheting up of aggression could result in “conflict or war” and labeled Beijing’s actions as “quite phenomenal”.

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In the wake of the military build-up, Mr Dutton also welcomed the Albanese Government’s openness to purchasing nuclear-powered submarines to fill a potentially decades long capability gap.

“It’s absolutely essential that we acquire the capability to provide a deterrent,” Mr Dutton said.

“We’re an island nation in the middle of the pacific and we have a particular responsibility not just to our own country but to keep peace within our region as well.”

Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said the government would prioritize “strategic need” over local manufacturing after Labor launched a major defense capability review last week.

Mr Marles told the Nine newspapers that acquiring the nuclear submarines early was an option, but the extent of the capability gap needed to be determined first.

“To the extent a capability gap exists when we determine how quickly we can get the nuclear-powered submarines, we need to be looking at every option about how we plug that gap,” he said.

“The point is that we must have an evolving and improving submarine capability in this country from this day forth. And that necessitates plugging the gap. And there are lots of ways one can do that.”

China launched its military drills on Thursday following Ms Pelosi’s visit to Taipei earlier in the week.

Beijing also sanctioned the US Speaker in response to what the government described as a “egregious provocation”.

Mr Dutton praised Ms Pelosi’s visit and said it exposed China’s “disproportionate” reaction.

“Yes, she should have (gone) and I’m pleased that she did because the reaction from China is completely over the top,” Mr Dutton said at a press conference in Brisbane on Monday.

“And it’s disproportionate to the visit by a Speaker of the House of Representatives in the world’s biggest democracy to visit an independent country.”

While supporting the speaker’s decision, Mr Dutton said he would not partake in a similar “political stunt” but warned that China’s military build-up was reminiscent of 1930s Europe.

“Nobody’s arguing for there to be a breaking of the current arrangement, but at the same time the Chinese government’s reaction under President Xi has been wildly disproportionate,” he said.

“This has been entirely predictable, China is amassing nuclear weapons and when we say that we’re in a period similar to the 1930s that is not made up, it’s not exaggerated.”


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