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Australia vulnerable if China-Taiwan conflict escalates: Molan

Former Australian Army major general, Jim Molan, sounded a stark reminder to Flow listeners on Wednesday that Australia is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the rising power of the Chinese communist government.

Discussing the escalating geopolitical situation currently unfolding between China and Taiwan, now NSW Senator Molan told Morning Show listeners that Australia is underprepared for military conflict with China should Australia rush to Taiwan’s aid:

“In the first instance, such a conflict [Chinese conflict with Taiwan] is possible, in the second instance I think it’s much more likely than most people are prepared to admit and in the third instance, it would appear that everything I read and write about this, that the probability of us winning such a conflict is pretty well zero.”

The NSW Liberal backbencher implied that Australia generally adopts an outdated mentality when it comes to the notion of war, relying too heavily on the perception that Australia is geographically safe from the threat of hostility.

“This is the problem that we face – we have an idea of war in this country is shaped by the last 75 years, where someone tells us there’s a war in a far distant place in Vietnam, in Korea, in Malaya, in the Middle East, in wherever...and the ADF (Australian Defence Force) dashes off and does something over there and the rest of Australia stays exactly as it is.
“I think our planning has got to be on the basis, that that will not be the war ... China is not silly, if China goes to war it won’t go to war and give us six months notice, it won’t go to war and say ‘things are hotting up here rest of the world, why don’t you bring your fleets from Europe and from India and why don’t you spend six months getting ready?”

The former commander of the Australian Defence College said Australia had also relied heavily on the American alliance:

"For 75 years in this country we have had absolutely no threat because our big friend the United States guaranteed both our prosperity and our security, and all we had to do was dash off to a couple of little wars every now and then - and many paid the sacrifice for that and that's the downpayment on our future security."

The United States will expand its military and economic relationships with partners in Asia to push back against China's increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this week, committing the Biden administration to maintain peace and prosperity in the region by boosting US alliances, forging new relationships and ensuring the US military maintains "its competitive edge". In a speech in Indonesia, Blinken said:

"Threats are evolving, our security approach has to evolve with them. To do that, we will lean on our greatest strength: our alliances and partnerships."

Senator Molan warned China would not stall once engaged in military conflict:

“It will be short and sharp and if we’re going to deter it, we’ve got to deter it from a position of strength.”

Despite the NSW Senator's calls to prepare among geopolitical tensions with China, Taiwan's Defence Ministry recently reported that China is logistically unable to invade Taiwan due to a limited transport capacity.

China recently engaged in simulated coastal landing exercises but Taiwan's Defence Ministry claimed China would struggle to deploy all its forces swiftly:

“The [Taiwanese] military strongly defends ports and airports, and they will not be easy to occupy in a short time...landing operations will face extremely high risks."
"The nation's military has the advantage of the Taiwan Strait being a natural moat and can use joint intercept operations, cutting off the Communist military's supplies, severely reducing the combat effectiveness and endurance of the landing forces.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged using South Korea's diplomatic clout with China to open peaceful dialogue, as a $1 billion weapons deal was inked.

Scott Morrison and South Korean president Moon Jae-in held formal talks in Canberra in which they pushed forward with a new "comprehensive strategic partnership".

A $1 billion deal was also signed, under which Korean defence company Hanwha will provide 30 self-propelled howitzer artillery weapons, 15 ammunition supply vehicles and radars to detect enemy artillery.

The vehicles will be able to quickly fire and move to avoid enemy counterattacks.

The deal is expected to create at least 300 jobs in the greater Geelong region, where the manufacturing facility will be based. Construction is due to start in 2022.

It is the largest defence contract struck between Australia and an Asian nation.


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