Australia Accelerates Its Military Development to Deter Chinese Encroachment
MIN READApr 29, 2022 | 21:35 GMT
An Australian flag waves as a ship transits a waterway in the background.
(SUSAN MOSSOP/AUSTRALIA DEFENCE FORCE/AFP via Getty Images)
Australia is accelerating its military development in response to China's growing presence in the Indo-Pacific. But Canberra's focus on mitigating the more direct threats posed by Chinese encroachment could ultimately enable Beijing to make further inroads in the region by leaving Pacific Island nations' other security concerns unmet. On April 19, China and the Solomon Islands ratified a security agreement that allows Chinese naval vessels to dock in the island nation to refit and repair. The deal also allows Chinese military forces to conduct security operations on the Solomon Islands, and for Chinese police to train local police forces. This base access is a grave security concern for Australia, as the Solomon Islands sits just off its northeast coast. The island nation can provide a strategic location for China to monitor regional maritime traffic and can also serve as a staging point for Chinese naval forces to threaten Australian waters....