Australia’s opposition party has taken aim at the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrisson for its hawkish rhetoric towards China, slamming it as a “dangerous” tactic to secure votes in the country’s upcoming election that will be held on or before May 21st, 2022.
Earlier this month, Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said it was “inconceivable” that Canberra wouldn’t join the US in defending Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Penny Wong, the foreign affairs spokesperson for the Labor party, criticized the reckless rhetoric during a foreign policy speech on Tuesday in Australia.
“Amping up the prospect of war against a superpower is the most dangerous election tactic in Australian history — a tactic employed by irresponsible politicians who are desperate to hang on to power at any cost,” she said.
Wong recognized that a war over Taiwan could be “catastrophic for humanity” since it could quickly spiral into a nuclear war. This is a fact lost on many hawks in Washington who are in favor of committing the US to go to war with China in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Australia has a key role to play in the US campaign against China. Morrison’s government recently signed the new AUKUS defense pact with the US and Britain that is meant to counter China and will give Canberra access to technology to develop nuclear submarines. The deal will also allow the US to deploy more troops, aircraft, and potentially medium-range missiles to its bases in Australia.