/ 17 June 2021

All China, all the time

Flexing its military muscle, Beijing has sent 28 military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (aka an area outside of a country’s territory but where foreign aircraft are closely tracked for national security reasons). It happened on Tuesday and it’s said to be China’s largest incursion to date. And yesterday, Ma Xiaoguang from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said they didn’t appreciate the acts of “collusion” between foreign governments and Taiwan over its bid to be recognised as a sovereign nation, not a Chinese territory. It comes after days of China’s ambitions being the topic of conversation amongst the world’s most powerful democratic leaders – and even with Queen Elizabeth

Quite a bit… On Sunday, G7 leaders condemned China for its use of “non-market policies and practices” to cause economic havoc. And they took China to task over human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims, called for Hong Kong to remain autonomous from the mainland, and expressed concerns about its military step up in the Taiwan Strait. And on Tuesday, leaders at the big NATO meeting formally scolded China for becoming a “constant security challenge”. In response, China said it would “unswervingly defend our sovereignty, security, and development interests.”

There are a lot of words that have been thrown around in the last week, which is one thing. But when it comes to sending increasing numbers of military planes towards Taiwan, experts say there isn’t much clarity about what China might do. All of this is unfolding in our backyard, which has made Australia very relevant with the leaders of like-minded nations. Visiting President Emmanuel Macron in Paris yesterday, PM Scott Morrison was told that we have a friend in France. “You are at the forefront of the tensions that exist in the region, of the threats, and sometimes of the intimidation, and I want to reiterate here how much we stand by your side,” the President said. Now, if only he would crack on with building us some submarines

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