Australian official Michael Pezzullo warns 'drums of war' are beating with China

Beijing says “One China” principle is crucial to China Australia relations

He admitted that waging wars might well be wrong, but "the greater folly is to wish away the curse by refusing to give it thought and attention, as if in so doing, war might leave us be, forgetting us perhaps", as the minister put it, saying "the drums of war" sometimes beat faintly, and at times much louder.

Despite recent comments by Defence Minister Peter Dutton and Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo alluding to the possibility of war with China, and the strategic location of the northern bases, Mr Morrison insisted the investment in the Territory was not intended as a signal to China.

Today's announcement comes amid rising tensions between Australia and China.

Northern Australia is a key region for Australian Defence Force bases, given its proximity to the Asia Pacific.

"The overarching message from government is that we need to be alert but not alarmed", she said.

Pezzullo sent out the message to mark Anzac Day, which honors Australia's veterans.

How have Australian politicians reacted to the remarks?

.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced last week that Victoria's Belt and Road Initiative agreement with Beijing had been cancelled under new foreign veto powers.

China launches key module of space station planned for 2022
At Wenchuan Space Station on Hainan Island in southern China, the launcher has been ready on the launch pad since the weekend. In December, its Chang'e 5 probe returned lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the USA missions of the 1970s.

During a speech on Monday outlining her vision for the island nation's relationship with Beijing, New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said her government would resist efforts by its allies, including Australia, to expand the role of Five Eyes to combat increasing Chinese aggression.

Relations between Australia and its largest trading partner have dramatically soured since early 2020 in fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Australia-China ties have been steadily worsening since PM Scott Morrison urged Beijing a year ago to allow an independent probe into the origins of the novel coronavirus, which was first registered in Wuhan, Hubei, in December 2019.

Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province of China and wants to unite it with the mainland.

"There's a lot of focus on overt, crude military intervention", Goldman told the Australian National University's National Security podcast. But then we're also concerned with all sorts of other aspects of coercion that don't quite reach the level of a military invasion.

The Hainan is China's first Type 075 amphibious assault ship, while the Changzheng-18 is a nuclear-powered submarine and the Dalian a Type 055 destroyer, the Communist Party-backed Global Times reported, citing military analysts.

The disputed South China Sea has become a theatre for tensions between China and its neighbours. "Which facilities are expected not to be smoking ruins?"

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