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Australia plans 150 billion Dollars defense spending

Australia Plans $190 Billion in Defense Spending

SYDNEY – Australia will increase defense spending by 40% in the next ten years, buying long-range military assets that will focus on the Indo-Pacific region, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.
In a speech that threatens to inflame tensions with China, Morrison said Australia would spend a AUD $270 billion (USD $186.5 billion) over the next ten years to acquire longer-range strike capabilities in the air, sea and land.
Australia in 2016 promised to spend A $195 billion over the next ten years.
Morrison said Australia would also focus its military focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
“We want an Indo-Pacific free of coercion and hegemony. We want a region where all countries, large and small, can freely interact with each other and be guided by international norms and standards,” Morrison said in a speech in Canberra.
Although Morrison did not name China, Australia’s muscular posture towards the Pacific is seen as a sign that Canberra aims to be firmer in its dealings with Beijing and less dependent on the United States.
“China is the unspoken elephant in the room,” said Sam Roggeveen, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute, based in Sydney.
“While it is correct that we focus on our region, but the purchase of long-range missiles, especially those targeting ground targets, could invite a response from Beijing.”
Morrison said Australia would first buy 200 long-range anti-ship missiles from the US Navy for AUD $800 million, and would also consider developing hypersonic weapons that can travel at least five times the speed of sound.
Defense spending will please United States President Donald Trump, who accused allies of taking Washington’s protection for granted.
But Australia’s defense spending will do little for relations with China, its biggest trading partner. The two nations have clashed heads as they both compete for influence in the Pacific.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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