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Australia and the Growing Reach of China’s Military

9 August 2021

Summary

Key Findings

  • China’s recent military development constitutes the greatest expansion of maritime and aerospace power in generations and is most obviously seen in its expanding long-range missile force, bomber force, and modernising blue-water navy.
  • While Australia’s defence interests and territorial integrity are largely unthreatened for now, a future Indo-Pacific dominated by China would present a grave possibility of military coercion by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
  • The prospect of Chinese military action against Australia remains remote. But China has the military and industrial potential to field a long-range power projection capacity that would dwarf anything Japan threatened Australia with during the Second World War.

Authors