Australia Dramatically Increases Defense and Security Investments in Response to Increased Chinese Threats

As Australia-China relations deteriorate, the Australian government has decided to significantly increase its investment in areas such as defense and national security by A$270 billion (US$212 billion) over the next decade.

This is an important element included in the economic plan for the next fiscal year announced by the Australian Treasury on Tuesday (May 11). The plan says the money will be used to boost defense capabilities to “promote openness and peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

Of the investment, $747 million ($585 million) is for upgrading four military training areas in the Northern Territory, the document said. The U.S. Marine Corps has a temporary base here.

Australia had announced in March that it would work with the United States to build its own missiles. Australia will produce its first homemade missile since the 1960s through the A$1 billion ($784 million) project.

The Australian government also plans to spend A$1.3 billion ($1.02 billion) over 10 years to enhance the capabilities of Australia’s main spy agency, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), to deal with national security threats. to address national security threats.

We …… need to prepare for a less stable and more competitive world,” Australian Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg said in a presentation to Parliament on the economic blueprint for the fiscal year that begins July 1. “

The Sydney Morning Herald previously reported that a senior Australian military general had said last year that Beijing was already involved in a “grey area” competition with Australia that could turn into actual conflict in the future and that Australia needed to plan for it.

Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton also said last month that the possibility of a conflict with China over Taiwan “should not be underestimated. Duton also said Australia would work with its allies in the region to try to maintain peace.

Australian Prime Minister John Morrison in April last year called on the international community to launch an independent investigation into the source of the new crown virus. The action drew strong outrage from Beijing. China subsequently launched a series of retaliatory actions against Australia, including restricting imports of a wide range of Australian goods and imposing punitive tariffs on the Australian side. Among the goods affected were beef, wine, coal and seafood.

Australia’s defense spending is expected to increase from about $30.9 billion in 2020 to $39.5 billion in 2025, said a report released by data analysis firm GlobalData in February. The surge in defense budget spending has been driven by Australia’s renewed strategic focus on the Indo-Pacific region as tensions between Australia and China grow.

This Australian economic plan also proposes an increase of A$17.7 billion ($13.9 billion) in senior care spending over five years and A$15.2 billion ($11.9 billion) in infrastructure investment over 10 years.