Canberra / Washington – ‘I think we’ve lost a considerable period where China gave assurances about their activity in the South China Sea. If we continue on that trajectory, then I think we’ll lose the next decade,’ sternly warned Australia’s Defence Minister Peter Dutton. Dutton’s warning is drawing attention in the wake of a key meeting of the QUAD Group scheduled in Australia this week.
Moreover, Dutton cautioned the international community alongside his nation that for many years, they had relied on the assurances given by China on the issue of the South China Sea. ‘I think we’ve lost a considerable period where China gave assurances about their activity in the South China Sea. And the United States and others acquiesced and allowed the militarisation now to the point where China has 20 points of presence in the South China Sea, which does not help stability in the region. If we continue on that trajectory, then I think we’ll lose the next decade,’ he said.
A QUAD Group meeting is scheduled in Australia in the next week. Foreign Ministers of the United States, Australia, Japan and India will be attending the meeting. China’s actions will be a prominent issue in the meeting. QUAD has begun taking steps against China in the last few years, emphasising increasing cooperation. For that reason, China has become restless with QUAD and is consistently threatening the member countries. At such times, Australia’s Defence Minister has indicated that the Quad needs to take a solid anti-China stance and make moves.
Meanwhile, former US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster also targeted China over the South China Sea issue. The activities of China in the South China Sea are one of the biggest land grabs in history, McMaster claimed. While criticising China’s communist regime, he also noted the ongoing movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.