Australia Speeds Up Defence Projects
Whatever Australia chooses to do as Communist China threatens Taiwan, our security and economic interests will be profoundly affected, specialists say.
With Communist China's fighter aircraft and ships encircling Taiwan in live-fire exercises for the fourth day in a row, the regional conflict has heightened Australian concerns about the capability gap in submarines, a new fleet of frigates and missile defence.
Australia Defence Minister Richard Marles stated that country could buy the first submarines from overseas to fill the gap while waiting for a new fleet to be made in Australia.
To the extent a capability gap exists when we determine how quickly we can get the nuclear-powered submarines, we need to be looking at every option about how we plug that gap, he said.
I don’t want to raise expectations in making that statement. Really, the point is that we must have an evolving and improving submarine capability in this country from this day forth. And that necessitates plugging the gap. And there are lots of ways one can do that, he added.
Opposition defence spokesman Andrew Hastie warned of a “very bleak” strategic outlook and said Australia should accelerate its work on missiles, nuclear submarines, fuel stocks and ammunition stocks.
The point is that if there was a conflict around Taiwan, whether we’re involved directly or indirectly on the periphery we would certainly be in the gun, Mr. Hastie told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.