News / Asia

Australia Outlines Defense Roadmap

The Royal Australian Navy's Adelaide class guided-missile frigate, the HMAS Melbourne, is shown. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard unveiled the defense white paper, a roadmap which sets out the government's long-term military priorities, May 3, 2013.
The Royal Australian Navy's Adelaide class guided-missile frigate, the HMAS Melbourne, is shown. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard unveiled the defense white paper, a roadmap which sets out the government's long-term military priorities, May 3, 2013.
Phil Mercer
The rise of India and continued tensions between the United States and China have dominated a review of Australia’s defense capabilities.  The first government white paper on defense since 2009 acknowledges China's rise as a global power, but also states that the Indian Ocean is becoming strategically important. 
 
Australia’s defense blueprint emphasizes the importance of close military ties with the United States, but also welcomes the rise of China.  The white paper published Friday said the Chinese militarization is a "natural and legitimate outcome of its economic growth."
 
It also notes the emergence of India, which Canberra says is becoming increasingly significant both economically and diplomatically.
 
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the policy document reflects changing regional realities. 

“The white paper underlines the enormous stake Australia has in managing strategic change in the Indo-Pacific region and managing it peacefully. In particular, in a U.S.-China relationship in which competition is minimized and cooperation maximized,” she stated.
 
Analysts stress that fostering closer economic ties with China and pursuing its alliance with Washington will continue to be Canberra’s biggest challenge.  
 
The last Australian defense white paper was released in 2009.  Its contents upset China, particularly when Canberra questioned the "pace, scope and structure" of Beijing's military expansion.  The latest defense review is notably softer and appears to presume that China’s rising military capabilities will be peaceful.
 
Paul Dibb, an emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, said this white paper rightly believes that China does not pose an immediate military threat.
 
“This one says very plainly that China is not seen by Australia as an adversary, and I think that is an important affirmation that yeah, we are all concerned about the rise of China, its economic power, its developing but still not comparable with American military power but anybody who really is trying to drum up as an imminent Chinese military threat, really has got rocks in their head,” said Dibb.
 
Australia’s defense roadmap also includes a commitment of $1.53 billion to buy 12 specialized Super Hornets fighter jets and outlines plans for 12 submarines.
 
The release of the white paper comes a day after Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told his generals that the military should be larger than regional powers, including Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid