AUSTRALIA’S CHINESE BALLISTIC MISSILE PROBLEM

Source: Lowy Institute

By Peter Layton

Late last year in Australia, there was sudden interest shown in ballistic missile defence (BMD). Although the driver was North Korea’s missile testing, the real issue is China.

China’s latest ballistic missiles, combined with its new island bases, are steadily undercutting Australia’s ability to defend itself without relying on foreign combat forces. Our four decades–long defence policy of self-reliance is in danger. China is altering the local strategic balance, and Australia’s defence force structure may need to change in response.

Before proceeding, it must be stressed that China is not a threat, which in defence planning is defined as the sum of a nation’s military capabilities and its intent. But China is taking deliberate, long-term measures to significantly improve its military capabilities in our region, including by building six new islands in the South China Sea. Intent, of course, can change overnight.

Read more at: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/australia-s-chinese-ballistic-missile-problem

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