A former Australian general is warning that there’s a high likelihood of war with China, a prospect that sounds downright chilling, especially for those living in the land down under. According to The Sydney Morning Herald Major-General Adam Findlay told Australia’s special forces last year that:
“Who do you reckon the main [regional] threat is?” General Findlay asked his troops and officers before answering: “China”.
“OK, so if China is a threat, how many special forces brigades in China? You should know there are 26,000 Chinese SOF [Special Operations Forces] personnel.”
Although Findlay is no longer in charge of Australia’s special forces, he still serves as an advisor to the Australian Defense Force. He isn’t the only person who is questioning Australia’s preparedness against China or China’s intentions for Australia. According to the Sydney Morning Herald article:
In the past week the Australian government’s language on China has hardened. Defence Minister Peter Dutton has said a war over Taiwan could not be discounted, that Australia was “already under attack” in the cyber domain and that he wants to have a “more frank discussion with the public” about China’s intentions. Mr Dutton said the Australian government’s first priority was “continued peace in our region”, but warned the country needed to be able to defend its waters to the north and west as a priority.
There are also concerns about China amping up its nuclear arsenal. According to a report from The U.S. Sun
In September, The Sun Online reported how it was feared China will double its number of city-destroying nuclear warheads in a bid to become a top military power by 2049.
The Pentagon said Beijing’s nuke stockpile is currently in the low 200s, although the Federation of American Scientists estimates the figure to be as high as 320.
Is this a case of sabre rattling or legitimate concern by Australian officials? Whatever the case may be, the presence of nuclear weapons should give even the most hawkish of individuals pause to tread lightly.