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China missile strikes could reach ‘two-thirds’ of Australia

China missile strikes could reach ‘two-thirds’ of Australia’s mainland, says government report

  • Missiles launched from China’s bases in South China Sea could hit Australia 
  • Two-thirds of the country could be reached by DF-26 intermediate range missile 
  • New report warns Australian military facilities should be moved further south  

China’s arsenal of land-based ballistic missiles could reach two-thirds of Australia’s mainland, a new submission to the government’s Defence Strategic Review has warned. 

Former analysts from Defence working with US-based think tank the Rand Corporation argued in the 33-page report that Australia’s key northern military facilities should be moved further south to safeguard them.

The document claims the communist superpower’s expansion into the South China Sea, where it has built military bases on disputed island and atolls, increased the striking range of its warheads.

It claims Australian Defence Force bases in the Northern Territory, Townsville in Queensland, and the northern half of WA are within reach, some which are jointly operated with the US.

China’s missiles can reach two-thirds of the Australian mainland a new report warns (Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, walks with visiting Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh) 

Buildings and structures are seen on the artificial island built by China in Mischief Reef on October 25, 2022 in Spratly Islands, South China Sea (pictured)

Buildings and structures are seen on the artificial island built by China in Mischief Reef on October 25, 2022 in Spratly Islands, South China Sea (pictured) 

Of specific concern is the Mischief Reef atoll in the Spratly Islands, which China has developed since 2014, that is now capable of launching DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missiles with a range of 4,000km.

US Intelligence confirmed in October Mischief Reef was militarily operational and that China had the ability to strike the Pacific island of Guam – the western-most point of US territory and key strategic location.

The Strategic Defence Review was announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in August to ‘ensure the Australian Defence Force is well positioned to meet the nation’s security challenges through to 2033 and beyond’.

Submissions closed on November 30 and parts of the completed review will be made public early next year. 

The Chinese JL-2 submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile on display in 2019. The weapon is capable of delivering nuclear warheads, though exactly how many remains unclear

The Chinese JL-2 submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile on display in 2019. The weapon is capable of delivering nuclear warheads, though exactly how many remains unclear 

The Northern Territory holds joint US and Australian military bases (pictured: a United States Marine Corps M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System in the NT)

The Northern Territory holds joint US and Australian military bases (pictured: a United States Marine Corps M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System in the NT) 

Mr Albanese last week met with Vietnam’s national assembly president Vuong Dinh Hue in Canberra – as Defence Minister Richard Marles visited Hanoi – in a bid to strengthen partnerships in South East Asia.

‘Australia and Vietnam share close bonds and a vision for a stable, peaceful, resilient and prosperous region,’ Mr Albanese said.

Mr Marles has now travelled on to the US where he will meet with his US and UK counterparts in Washington this week for the inaugural AUKUS security pact talks.

He will then continue on to Japan for further security talks aimed at strengthening defence and technology co-operation to counter the Beijing threat. 

Vietnamese Defence Minister Phan Van Giang and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles in Hanoi last week

Vietnamese Defence Minister Phan Van Giang and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles in Hanoi last week

Among the items to be discussed at the AUKUS talks are a roadmap to Australia acquiring nuclear powered submarines from the US and UK. 

But other technologies will also be discussed including ‘drone’ submarines which Mr Marles has described as ‘more expendable, more numerous… and will allow greater awareness over a much longer distance.’

Tokyo has recently pushed  to play a greater role in AUKUS technology projects.

Japan’s ambassador to Australia Shingo Yamagami in November said Australia was Japan’s closest ally after the US, and his country was hopeful there were ‘specific projects’ under the AUKUS framework it could be included in.

A recent report from the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies recommended AUKUS be re-worked to formally include Japan in a limited capacity.

‘[They should] expand AUKUS co-operation on specific advanced capabilities to include Japan, as there is considerable overlap between the AUKUS advanced capabilities agenda and the capabilities Japan seeks as part of its own defence build-up,’ the report said.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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