(UnitedVoice.com) – Australia and China have diplomatic ties that date back decades. The two countries still trade with one another. However, cracks have formed in the relationship in recent years, especially in light of the submarine deal with the United States and the United Kingdom. New reports indicate the island nation is preparing its military just in case things deteriorate even more.
The Australian government has promised $3.8 billion AUD over the next four years to revamp its military bases across the country in preparation for a possible conflict in the region. Lawmakers took the money from other projects that they canceled. On April 27, Defence Minister Richard Marles released a statement announcing the plan. He said $2 billion of the funds will pay for fuel storage, upgraded runways, accommodations, and security and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bases in northern Queensland, Cocos Islands, and the northern territory.
The country will also spend $1 billion of the funding on upgrades to “land and estate capabilities.” The Harold E Holt Naval Communications Station, HMAS Coonawarra, and HMAS Cairns will receive $600 million for maritime investments. And $200 million will be spent on other projects.
The Albanese Labor Government will bolster investment in Australia’s northern bases, committing $3.8 billion over the next four years.
More info can be found here: https://t.co/HQtrjoWB71
— Richard Marles (@RichardMarlesMP) April 27, 2023
Marles explained the upgrades by stressing the country has to be ready to defend itself in the northern region “and maritime spaces, and provide a long-range strike capability.” He went on to say the Air Force also needs to be ready to strike, defend the air space, and conduct surveillance.
Though the press release doesn’t mention the threat from China at all, some have speculated that’s the reason for the decision to invest in naval and air operations. The Epoch Times reported the Chinese military’s buildup in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait has forced countries to invest in those areas rather than traditional land forces.
Assistant Defence Minister Matt Thistlethwaite also pointed out that the investments will provide economic opportunities for the northern region where the investments are occurring.
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