Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Australia needs a plan to deescalate tensions in the region

In "China needs to make a plan to deter extreme forces of Australia",  Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, threatened the use of "...long-range missiles with conventional warheads that target military objectives in Australia ..." (May 07, 2021 11:35 PM). Such a threat is counterproductive and I suggest Australia develop plans to respond in a way which shows resolve, but does not escalate the situation.

In  2003 I was a guest of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) presenting ideas for the Beijing Olympics 2008. Present were local academics, government a business people, including from the People's Daily, who I considered very professional. I had an enjoyable tour of the People's Daily webcasting facility. It is regrettable that staff of the organisation are now issuing threats.

Air raid on Darwin.
During WWII, Australia suffered widespread and sustained attack from the air. However, this did not break the resolve of Australians to defend their country, quite the contrary. 

Conventionally armed ballistic missiles could inflict significant damage, and casualties, on Australian military infrastructure and civilians. The Australian government may wish to acquire anti-missile missiles, for the ships it has already acquired which are fitted-for-but-not-with these. But in any case, as in WWII, an attack on the Australian mainland would increase work with allies, not diminish it.

In the event Australia comes under ballistic missile attack, I suggest we show restraint, and ask our allies not to use the weapons at their disposal to respond in kind. A way to show resolve, without escalating the situation, would be to dismantle the artificial islands constructed by China in disputed territory

Personnel on the artificial islands could be given time to evacuate, with personal belongings. This could be facilitated by coast guard personnel of Australia and its allies. All infrastructure on the islands would then be removed, and the sea walls broken. This would allow currents to wash away the built up sand and return the reefs to their natural state.

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