The chips are down for China

November 25, 2022

~ Alan Dupont, published in the Australian

Forget Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Covid or war in Taiwan. A package of US export restrictions is set to kneecap China.

As the year of living dangerously draws to a volatile close, historians will long debate its most consequential event. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the lingering effects of Covid and fears that China’s president Xi Jinping may unleash war on Taiwan are prime candidates. But a package of US export restrictions that aims to kneecap China’s burgeoning technology sector threatens to overshadow them all.
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Best way to avoid war is to arm Taiwan

September 8, 2022

Our Taiwan debate has been marred by two misperceptions and one fallacy.The first misperception is that war over Taiwan is improbable. This proposition is harder to sustain as Beijing continues to ratchet up pressure on Taipei.

Flying drones over small islands controlled by Taiwan is the latest in a long line of Chinese provocations and another step on the ladder of escalation that significantlyincreases the risk of military conflict.

Taipei has been remarkably restrained until now. But the administration of Tsai Ing-wen couldn’t allow the drones to fly uncontested over its territory without challenge. Its four-step response protocols have been measured: fire warning flares,report the incursion, expel the drone and shoot it down only as a last resort.
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China can already control most of our region

July 1, 2022

NATO’s game-changing commitment to boost high-readiness ­forces will transform the European balance of power. The opposite is occurring here.

NATO’s new strategic roadmap is a game changer. Once a strategic partner, Russia is now considered the main threat to the expanding alliance. Equally important is the belated recognition of China as a strategic challenge to the alliance’s “interests, security and values”. The commitment to boost military spending and bolster its high-readiness forces from 40,000 to “well over 300,000” will tilt the European balance of power in favour of democracies. But the opposite is occurring in our strategic neighbourhood, where maritime power will be decisive.
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China’s Pacific roadshow our biggest test since Japan in WWII

June 2, 2022

Despite the rejection of his ambitious trade and security deal by Pacific Islands leaders, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s diplomatic road show underlines the strategic nature of Beijing’s unprecedented investment in the South Pacific and the extent of the challenge to our economic and security interests.
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Why Xi may well regret Beijing’s alliance with Putin

March 25, 2022

If an ‘unthinkable’ war can occur in Europe driven by one man’s delusions of grandeur, what is the likelihood of another’s igniting an even more destructive conflict in Asia?

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a seismic geopolitical event. It’s shaping to be more destabilising and consequential than anything the world has seen this century, overshadowing Covid, the global financial crisis and the rise of al-Qa’ida. It has shattered Europe’s long peace; raised the spectre of a nuclear confrontation between NATO and Russia; widened the divide between the West and Eurasia’s autocratic states; and almost certainly ended Russia’s quest to be a Eurasian great power.
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Brace for war in our time

December 3, 2021

Australians must face the fact that China is determined to invade Taiwan — and in a China-dominated region we won’t enjoy the freedoms we assume are our birthright.
~ by Alan Dupont

It is often said that there are only two certainties in life – death and taxes. But war and conflict must surely qualify as a third.

Despite our best efforts, we have yet to eliminate the scourge of war. The good news is that when they occur, most conflicts never ­escalate to the level of last century’s two ruinous conflagrations. We have all been accustomed to peace for so long that uber optimists believe major wars have been consigned to the dustbin of history.
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How to protect ourselves if we come to blows with China

October 17, 2021

Ascertaining Beijing’s intent is difficult but past practice provides us with some valuable clues.

As the dust settles on the most consequential month of Australian defence and foreign policy in 70 years, Scott Morrison has signalled unequivocally that he wants a more lethal, capable and agile defence force fit for the times. And he’s not for turning.

Neither is Defence Minister Peter Dutton, who has been given the poisoned chalice of sorting out the procurement mess left by previous Coalition and Labor governments. Dutton is off to a good start. But there is much to do and time is of the essence.
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Worrying signs we’re on the brink of a new nuclear arms race

August 7, 2021

Beijing’s nuclear breakout should dispel any notion that the risk of nuclear Armageddon is long past.

There are worrying signs the world is on the brink of a new nuclear arms race. A regional conflict between nuclear-armed states could escalate quickly into a destructive global crisis with catastrophic consequences.

Fear that a conflict between the US and China over Taiwan could go nuclear is shaping the government’s risk assessments, strengthening the case to upgrade our missile defences for critical defence installations and operationally deployed units of the Australian Defence Force.
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