Climate change will help China in South China Sea: Australian armed forces chief

Countries might occupy islands abandoned due to rising sea levels: General Campbell

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Australia Defense Force chief Angus Campbell (screenshot from www.facebook.com/ChiefADF).

Australia Defense Force chief Angus Campbell (screenshot from www.facebook.com/ChiefADF).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Australia’s Defense Force chief Angus Campbell warned that China might use climate change to occupy more uninhabited reefs and islands in the South China Sea.

In a private speech last month, the general suggested that rising sea levels might cause more islands to be abandoned, giving nations an opportunity for territorial expansion, Australia’s Financial Review reported Tuesday (July 16).

Campbell reportedly did not name China in the closed-door speech, but encouraged quicker action on climate change in what media interpreted as criticism of the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The general saw climate change as the cause of more security risks in the region, and in particular as a threat to Australian interests of concern to the country’s military, the Central News Agency reported.