Australian and Chinese military officials to meet

2019/11/download-(4)-1573652444.jpeg
Read: 807     17:36     13 November 2019    

Australian military officials were expected to raise their concerns about China’s role in negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program, its expansion in the South China Sea and its presence in East Timor and the Pacific during talks with China’s top general, Li Zuocheng, in Sydney on Thursday.


The Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue between Australian military chiefs and the People’s Liberation Army has been held annually since 1997, but according to Professor John Blaxland, head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, they have taken on a far more critical role in the past couple of years.

He said that defence and intelligence officials in Australia had become alarmed at America’s retreat from leadership of the international rules based order and as a result talks like this had become more substantial.

Professor Blaxland said it was now crucial for Australian officials to “eyeball’ their Chinese countreparts and clearly but discretely set out Australia’s concerns and interests. “Megaphone diplomacy does not work with China so this has to be done pretty deftly,” he said.

The Department of Defence Secretary, Greg Moriarty and the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, are the two Australians leading the talks.

Michael Shoebridge, the director of Defence, Strategy and National Security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said Australia had to recognise that since the dialogue had begun, China had adopted a more confrontational posture in the region, and the talks should reflect that.

“Under General Secretary Xi Jingping's leadership, the Chinese state is now using its military - the PLA - to advance its strategic goals in ways that are against Australia's, and many other nations', security interests,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“The use of the PLA to occupy contested territory in the South China Sea, in contravention of international law, is the most graphic example of this," Mr Shoebridge said. "A further example is Chinese defence minister General Wei's statement at this year's Shangri La meeting that the PLA's massacre of Chinese citizens in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 was 'correct policy'. A third is Beijing's efforts to grow PLA presence in the South Pacific and South East Asia to allow it to exert more military power, including in Australia's immediate region.

“So, Australia's defence relations with the PLA needs to change to take account of the new strategic reality that the Chinese state is using the PLA in an aggressive and assertive way that is against Australia's national interests," he said.

The Sydney Morning Herald



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News Line

Australian and Chinese military officials to meet

2019/11/download-(4)-1573652444.jpeg
Read: 808     17:36     13 November 2019    

Australian military officials were expected to raise their concerns about China’s role in negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program, its expansion in the South China Sea and its presence in East Timor and the Pacific during talks with China’s top general, Li Zuocheng, in Sydney on Thursday.


The Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue between Australian military chiefs and the People’s Liberation Army has been held annually since 1997, but according to Professor John Blaxland, head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, they have taken on a far more critical role in the past couple of years.

He said that defence and intelligence officials in Australia had become alarmed at America’s retreat from leadership of the international rules based order and as a result talks like this had become more substantial.

Professor Blaxland said it was now crucial for Australian officials to “eyeball’ their Chinese countreparts and clearly but discretely set out Australia’s concerns and interests. “Megaphone diplomacy does not work with China so this has to be done pretty deftly,” he said.

The Department of Defence Secretary, Greg Moriarty and the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, are the two Australians leading the talks.

Michael Shoebridge, the director of Defence, Strategy and National Security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said Australia had to recognise that since the dialogue had begun, China had adopted a more confrontational posture in the region, and the talks should reflect that.

“Under General Secretary Xi Jingping's leadership, the Chinese state is now using its military - the PLA - to advance its strategic goals in ways that are against Australia's, and many other nations', security interests,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“The use of the PLA to occupy contested territory in the South China Sea, in contravention of international law, is the most graphic example of this," Mr Shoebridge said. "A further example is Chinese defence minister General Wei's statement at this year's Shangri La meeting that the PLA's massacre of Chinese citizens in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 was 'correct policy'. A third is Beijing's efforts to grow PLA presence in the South Pacific and South East Asia to allow it to exert more military power, including in Australia's immediate region.

“So, Australia's defence relations with the PLA needs to change to take account of the new strategic reality that the Chinese state is using the PLA in an aggressive and assertive way that is against Australia's national interests," he said.

The Sydney Morning Herald



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