Australian inaction in Taiwan defence ‘inconceivable’

It is likely Australia would back US “action” in the event of a clash between China and Taiwan, the minister has revealed.

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed the US and its allies would take unspecified “action” in the event of an attack on Taiwan.

“I think it’s fair to say that we’re not alone in this determination to make sure that we preserve peace and stability in that part of the world,” Secretary Blinken added.

“There are many countries, both in the region and beyond, that would see any unilateral action to use force to disrupt the status quo as a significant threat to peace and security, and they too would take action in the event that that happens.”

Secretary Blinken’s claims have been backed by Minister for Defence Peter Dutton, who has told media he cannot envisage Australian inaction.

“It would be inconceivable that we wouldn’t support the US in an action if the US chose to take that action,” he told the media.

“And, again, I think we should be very frank and honest about that, look at all of the facts and circumstances without pre-committing, and maybe there are circumstances where we wouldn’t take up that option, [but] I can’t conceive of those circumstances.

“… [China’s] been very clear about their intent to go into Taiwan and we need to make sure that there is a high level of preparedness, a greater sense of ­deterrence by our capability, and that is how I think we put our country in a position of strength.”

This comes amid a spike in PLA intrusions over Taiwan’s south-west air defence identification zone, which has intensified fears of an imminent conflict.

Taiwan reported over a dozen incidents in October alone.

In response, the Taiwanese military has deployed combat air patrol platforms, issued radio warnings, and prepared air defence missile systems.


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