Australia Is Too Weak, According to a Chinese Analyst
“Australia’s military is too weak to be a worthy opponent of China,” Song Zhongping, a Communist Party military commentator, told the Global Times.
“If it dares to interfere in a military conflict, for example in the Taiwan Straits, its forces will be among the first to be hit.”
The comment was a reaction to Australia joining the U.S., Japan, and France in naval exercises in the Miyako Strait.
Recently, naval forces from world powers have been converging on the Asia Pacific region in what is largely seen as a strategic and highly calculated move to counter China’s growing military presence in the South China Sea. The exercises are also a show of force.
#HMASParramatta recently participated in Exercise ARC in Sasebo, Japan ???????????????????????????????? This quad activity between #AusNavy, @jmsdf_pao_eng, @USNavy & @EtatMajorFR involved blue-water combat serials & amphibious activities enhancing our international operability. #YourADF pic.twitter.com/S2JGaAeOgs— Chief of Navy Australia (@CN_Australia) May 19, 2021
In 2021, among the countries who will be involved in naval exercises in the region are the U.K., the U.S., Canada, France, Australia, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, India, and the Netherlands.
Adding to the rhetoric, China’s foreign affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying described the exercises as “insignificant.”
“Does anyone really think this joint drill aimed at putting pressure on China would really frighten China?” said Hua. “This so-called joint drill has no impact at all on China. It only costs them fuel.”
But it wasn’t only Australia that received scathing remarks from China. The mouthpiece also downplayed French involvement in the Asia Pacific. Beijing dismissed France’s participation in the Asian turf, saying it has “no core interests in the West Pacific.”
But that is hardly the case. According to Japan’s defense minister Nobuo Kishi, France “is the only European country with a permanent military presence in the Indo-Pacific region,” Kishi said in a press conference.
The multiple international military exercises happening in 2021 in the Indo and Asia Pacific region is an unprecedented event during peacetime in terms of scale and firepower involved. Not since World War II has the world’s major powers converged in Asia for coordinated military operations.