Australia pledges to help US defend Taiwan from Chinese attacks – Community News
Us China

Australia pledges to help US defend Taiwan from Chinese attacks

Australia’s defense minister has said it was “inconceivable” that his country would not support the US in a campaign to defend Taiwan against China amid mounting concerns over Beijing’s increasingly assertive military activity.

In an interview with the Australian newspaper, Peter Dutton said Chinese leaders had been “very clear about their intent to enter Taiwan” and that Canberra needed to improve its ability to deter Beijing and be ready to join the US military. to join if it were to take action.

“It would be inconceivable that we would not support the US in an action if the US chose to take that action,” Dutton said.

His comments came two months after the US, Australia and the UK launched a trilateral security partnership that will help Canberra acquire nuclear-powered submarines, an effort believed to be aimed at countering China.

“Australia’s rapid strategic realignment of China is astonishing,” said Eric Sayers, a security expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “We are now seeing a level of shared tactical clarity emerging in Washington, Canberra and Tokyo about the critical position of stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

Dutton’s comments also came weeks after President Joe Biden vowed to defend Taiwan from a Chinese attack. The White House reversed the comments, which appeared to reverse “strategic ambiguity,” a long-standing U.S. policy in which Washington does not explicitly say whether it would intervene in a military conflict over Taiwan.

The policy is designed to prevent Taiwan from taking action that would provoke a Chinese attack while deterring Beijing from military action against the country over which it claims sovereignty. Biden’s comments marked the second time this year that he suggested Washington defend Taipei.

The Taiwan issue is expected to lurk during a virtual meeting on Monday between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping to address the challenges in the relationship between their countries.

On Wednesday, Paul Keating, the former Australian Prime Minister, said Taiwan is “not a vital Australian interest” and that Canberra should not be involved in any conflict with Beijing over the island.

The US has strengthened alliances in Europe and Asia in an effort to form a united front against Beijing. Biden has revived the “Quad”, a security group that includes Australia, Japan and India.

In July, Taro Aso, then Japan’s deputy prime minister, said a conflict over Taiwan would pose an existential threat that would oblige Japan and the US to “defend Taiwan together”.

Gerald Brown, a security expert in Asia, welcomed Dutton’s statement and said one of the key factors in deterring Chinese military action against Taiwan was “creating a multilateral front.”

“Australia’s willingness to assist in an unprovoked attack on Taiwan increases costs for the [People’s Republic of China] to participate in hostilities,” Brown said. “A multilateral front of multiple states ready to intervene and support continues to increase these costs and is a cautious step towards deterring aggression in the PRC.”

The US said Friday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a telephone conversation with Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan’s new foreign minister, had emphasized that Washington was determined to “work closely with Japan and other allies and partners to advance our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific”.

To follow Demetri Sebastopulo on Twitter