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Australia mulls military options in event China invades Taiwan

Australia reportedly preparing for worst-case scenario in cross-strait conflict

Super Hornet fighter jet (Australian Air Force photo)

Super Hornet fighter jet (Australian Air Force photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Australia is reportedly boosting its preparedness for possible military action in the Taiwan Strait as regional tensions escalate due to China’s relentless military maneuvers.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) carried an article Friday (April 16) citing sources that suggested the Australian Defense Force is discussing the extent to which it will intervene in a conflict between the U.S. and China over Taiwan. Canberra seems to be signaling to Beijing that it will not idly sit by and watch should tensions escalate further.

The Oceanian country’s options include deploying Collins-class submarines, maritime surveillance aircraft, refuelers, Super Hornet fighter jets, and the Wedgetail early warning aircraft to support an allied effort involving U.S. bases in Guam, Japan, or the Philippines. Nevertheless, a former defense official believes Australia is more likely to provide air cover than contributing navel assets, according to the report.

Earlier this week, emissaries sent by U.S. President Joe Biden to Taiwan held a closed-door meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the nation's defense officials. Former Senator Christopher Dodd reportedly relayed a message from Biden to underscore American commitment to help defend Taiwan.

Last month Australia announced it would build guided missiles to beef up its defense capabilities amid China’s assertiveness. Michael Shoebridge, the director of defense, strategy, and national security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, commented that a significant amount of home-built missiles would be needed if Australia is to come to Taiwan’s aid if and when Beijing decides to take control of the country by force, reported AP.

Updated : 2021-05-14 13:19 GMT+08:00