In two separate speeches, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and defence minister Peter Dutton have backed the idea of greater cooperation among Earth’s “liberal democracies” as a bulwark against “authoritarian regimes”. Morrison lauded the Quad grouping for showing the world “how democracies work”.
The ongoing military build-up in the Indo-Pacific region has made chances of conflict “less remote”, Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said at a conference organised by the Canberra-based Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on Thursday. Dutton also remarked that the Indo-Pacific has turned into an area of “sharpened focus” for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Japan, India and other like-minded countries.
Dutton remarked that although he wanted his government to have a “productive relationship” with China, at the same time, Australia wouldn’t tolerate any breach of the international “rules-based order”.
The minister said that Canberra’s ties to Beijing were not “complicated” at all, and the two nations couldn’t hope to have the same level of ties as those which existed between Australia and the US.
Dutton admitted that the world appeared to be headed for a conflict of sorts between the “authoritarian regimes” and liberal democracies.
During his remarks, he went on to back the prospect of more American troops on Australian soil, also observing that Canberra and Washington were in talks to base US Navy…