Australia buys more missiles to counter China

Australia will fast track plans to acquire the US HIMARS system [Photo:]

The Australian government says it will speed up efforts to buy longer range missiles to counter the growing threat from China.

It warns that the country can no longer be protected by its geographic isolation in the “missile age”.

The government says it will spend some A$19bn ($12bn, £10bn) to deliver the report’s immediate recommendations.

In a 110-page study named the Defence Strategic Review (DSR), the plan is described as the biggest overhaul of Australian defence since World War Two.

DSR comes amid increasing regional tension over China’s stance towards Taiwan, which it has repeatedly vowed to take by force if necessary.

The Chinese navy has also established a major presence in the South China Sea, claiming parts of it as its own territory, contrary to international law.

“China’s military build-up is now the largest and most ambitious of any country since the end of the Second World War. This build up is occurring without transparency or reassurance to the Indo-Pacific region of China’s strategic intent,” the report states.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the review would “shape the future rather than waiting for the future to shape us”, and its recommendations would make Australia “more self-reliant, more prepared and more secure”.

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