War with China is becoming increasingly likely amid ongoing international tensions with Australia and the US, a federal senator has warned.
Liberal Senator Jim Molan told Sunrise on Tuesday, it’s “more likely than currently recognised” that China will go to war with the US.
Australia is “not the main game” but “we’ve got to prepare” as “we are likely to be collateral damage”, he added.
“It is not inevitable and if we prepare, there is a chance it will not happen,” Mr Molan told Sunrise.
The former Australian Army Major-General said China has been primed for war for a “long time” as well as the US.
“They are picking fights with their neighbours around the world and they have extraordinary military capability, not just in rockets and aircraft but in overall capability to do things,” he said.
He clarified the best approach at this stage is to “come up with a strategy” for national security.
The senator told 7News on Monday conflict between the US and China is likely in the next three to 10 years.
Opposition calls for calm
Peter Jennings from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute added “it’s certainly a much higher risk than it has been in a long, long time”.
Acting shadow foreign minister Kristina Keneally, however, has called for a “calm, strategic approach” from the Morrison government.
Australia’s relationship with China has taken more hits in recent weeks.
In the last fortnight, China’s foreign ministry accused Australia of playing the victim amid fears Australian coal has been banned by China in a politically-motivated move.
Addressing reporters in Beijing, spokesperson Wang Wenbin insisted China’s action taken on Australian imports in recent months are “in line with China’s laws and regulations and international practices” and denied any wrongdoing.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has ramped up his normally conservative approach with China in recent weeks and confirmed Australia would take a trade dispute over barley to the World Trade Organisation.
Jailing of Hong Kong’s Jimmy Lai sparks more outrage
People across the globe also vented their fury at the Chinese government over a photo of an elderly Hong Kong media tycoon in chains.
Jimmy Lai, a 73-year-old media mogul and advocate for democracy, was denied bail after being charged the previous day under the formerly autonomous Chinese territory’s strict new national security law.
The Apple Daily, a feisty pro-democracy tabloid owned by Lai, said he is accused of asking a foreign country, organisation or individual to impose sanctions or engage in other hostile activities against Hong Kong or China.
Images of Lai in chains sparked widespread outrage with people calling it “more nails in the coffin” for Hong Kong’s democracy.
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