Australia to increase military spending to more than $50 billion in response to Chinese Communist threat: analysis

A spokesman for the Communist military delegation responded March 7 in Beijing to a 6.8 percent increase in China’s defense budget for 2021, saying, “The world is not peaceful and defense must be strong.”

Analysts predict that Australia will increase its military budget by more than $11 billion annually by 2025 to counter the Chinese threat in the region. (By Derek Fong)

Australia’s defense spending of about $40.1 billion in fiscal year 2020 is expected to rise sharply to $51.26 billion in five years, the British newspaper Daily Mail reported.

China-Australia relations have fallen apart after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent investigation into the source of the Chinese Communist Party virus. China and Australia also have fundamental differences over human rights, Taiwan and the country’s growing expansionism in the Asia-Pacific region.

In a new report, business analyst firm GlobalData predicts that the heightened Chinese threat will drive Australia to significantly increase its military spending.

The report cites defense analyst Vera Lin as arguing that China’s expansion in the South China Sea and beyond, including activities such as pipelines and ports, poses a threat to Australia.

Vera Lin noted, “Australia is preparing for the possibility of a serious military conflict, which will require focused investment in long-range deterrence, such as ballistic missile defense and research into hypersonic speeds.”

A spokesman for the Communist military delegation responded to a 6.8 percent increase in China’s defense budget for 2021 in Beijing on March 7, saying, “The world is not peaceful and national defense must be strong.”

News of China’s increased military spending has renewed fears of an arms race in East Asia against the backdrop of an ongoing U.S.-China tension standoff over Taiwan and the South China Sea, a BBC analysis noted Wednesday.

As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered his government work report at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, emphasizing increased military spending and enhanced military training and preparedness, reports emerged that the United States is planning to spend an additional $27.4 billion to establish a “precision strike missile network” along the “first island chain.

The so-called “first island chain” is a chain of islands surrounding China, starting with the Thousand Islands in the north and moving south through Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Kalimantan.

The 2019 Pentagon annual report on China’s military power notes that the PLA pursues a counter-intervention strategy against the United States and its allies, preventing them from operating freely in the “first island chain” beyond China’s coasts and even in some air and sea areas of the Western Pacific.

The report says the Chinese military relies on the deployment of longer-range missiles and increased deployment of detection systems in space to implement the strategy.