Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday said that his government held a less dramatic view of US-China strategic tensions than a predecessor who warned of a potential “hot war” before the US presidential election in November.
Former Australian prime minister and China academic Kevin Rudd wrote in Foreign Affairs this week that the risk of armed conflict between the US and China in the next three months was “especially high.”
Morrison said his administration had expressed similar views in a defense policy update last month.
“Our defense update expresses it differently and certainly not as dramatically as Kevin, but in our own defense update, we’ve acknowledged that what was previously inconceivable and not considered even possible or likely in terms of those types of outcomes is not considered in those contexts anymore,” Morrison told the Aspen Security Forum in an online address from the Australian capital, Canberra.
Meanwhile, Australian federal police raided the home and office of a man employed by an Australian politician as part of a foreign interference investigation into whether he was working to advance “Chinese state interests,” court documents showed.
The disclosure is made in documents lodged on Monday in Australia’s High Court by the employee, John Zhang (張智森), who is seeking to quash the search warrants used by police and the return of seized computer evidence.
Zhang, who could not be reached for comment, has not been charged with any offense.
His lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment yesterday.
The documents said that Zhang is an Australian citizen who migrated from China in 1989 and had been employed by New South Wales state politician Shaoquett Moselmane since 2018.
Moselmane, who has been suspended from the NSW Labor party following the raids, has previously said he had not done anything wrong and was not a suspect.
According to details of the search warrants described in the court documents, Zhang was under investigation for allegedly concealing from Moselmane that he was acting on behalf of, or in collaboration with, the “Chinese state and party apparatus including the Ministry of State Security and the United Front Work Department.”
The documents said it was alleged that Zhang was suspected of acting on behalf of the “Chinese state and party apparatus” in a private social media chat group with Moselmane to advance the policy goals of the Chinese government.
He is alleged to have encouraged Moselmane to advocate for “Chinese state interests”, they said.
‘NO SURRENDER’: A blockade or outlying island seizure would be an act of war, and China’s drills last month have emboldened Taipei in its response plans, an official said The Republic of China Army Command Headquarters has agreed to purchase 5,000 Kestrel close-range anti-armor missiles worth NT$400 million (US$12.63 million) from the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, according to the military’s latest arms purchase bid notice. The army asked the institute to complete the order within 13 months, a military source said on condition of anonymity. Kestrel missiles are designed to penetrate armored vehicles and are used in anti-surface warfare, as they feature optical sights and night vision, and can be operated in all weather conditions. The missile has a 400m range, or a 150m range when used for breaching brick
IF THE CHIPS ARE DOWN: The US secretary of state warned that a disruption to the supply of Taiwanese semiconductors would play havoc with the global economy If Taiwan were attacked, the global economy would face devastation, as that is where most of the world’s semiconductors are produced, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday. In an interview that aired on the 60 Minutes television program, Blinken was asked whether instability across the Taiwan Strait would be felt around the world. Blinken said that China has been increasingly aggressive against Taiwan, posing a threat to peace and stability in the region, while economically the world would feel the effects of such aggression. Blinken was interviewed for the program after meeting with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi
‘ABSURD’: UN Resolution 2758 expelled the Chiang Kai-Shek government without mentioning Taipei, something the Chinese minister did not acknowledge, Taipei said Taiwan yesterday criticized Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) for “intentionally misinterpreting” a 1971 UN resolution to misrepresent Taiwan’s status to the global community. In his address on Saturday to the UN General Assembly, Wang cited Resolution 2758 as a basis for Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China. He said that Beijing considers Taiwan an “inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times.” “Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait... Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” Wang said. General Assembly Resolution 2758
The UK is determined to work with its allies to ensure that Taiwan can defend itself, British Prime Minister Liz Truss said on Sunday, a pledge that drew expressions of gratitude from Taipei. “What I’ve been clear about is that all of our allies need to make sure Taiwan is able to defend itself, and that is very, very important,” Truss said in a CNN interview, when asked whether the UK was willing to match the US’ pledge last week to defend Taiwan militarily in the event of an attack by China. Truss said her government was working with its G7 allies,