China Threat Not Only To Taiwan

SYDNEY – Last July, the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley, visited Jakarta where he said China’s military has become significantly more aggressive and dangerous over the past five years.

While the U.S. has seemed fixated on China’s growing verbal threats and military maneuvers around Taiwan, Milley and others, including some in Australia, are concerned that China’s expansionist goals do not end with attempts to take over that free island nation.

Among those keeping an eye on China’s activities here is Tom Switzer, executive director of the think tank Center for Independent Studies (CIS). Switzer believes Australian leaders are wrong when they think their policies determine what China does. “The truth is, ” he says, “most great powers are ruthless beasts: they play hardball at every turn; and the stronger China gets, the more it’s likely to throw its weight around.”

Switzer calls what China is doing “wolf warrior diplomacy,” where it uses its growing economic power to coerce or harm weaker states that implement policies, not to Beijing’s liking.

Some commentators here claim Australia can rebuild trust with Beijing without acquiescing to its demands. Switzer disagrees and asks some important questions the government should consider: “How do our

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