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Australia faces threat of 'high-intensity' conflict as China and Taiwan tensions boil over

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Defence expert's dire warning that Australia faces a 'high-intensity conflict' in our region - as he names the essential weapon we need to defend ourselves

  • Australia faces increased threat of 'high-intensity' conflict, defence experts says
  • Paul Dibb warned country should build long range missiles to deter invasion
  • Warning comes as tensions continue to build between China, Taiwan and US 

By Aidan Wondracz For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 07:25, 6 August 2022 | Updated: 10:39, 6 August 2022

Australia is facing an increased risk of conflict and must develop long-range missiles to deter an invasion, a top defence expert has warned.

Australian National University emeritus professor Paul Dibb has sounded the alarm about a 'high intensity' conflict developing within the country's 'strategic environment'.

'Let's be very frank, it's code-name for a certain country to our distant north,' he said. 

His warning comes as tensions continue to build between China and Taiwan

Taiwan views itself as an independent country, while China views it as a breakaway province that needs to be 'reunified'. 

Australia must develop long range missiles to deter an invasion with the country facing an increased risk of conflict, a top defence expert has warned

Australian National University emeritus professor Paul Dibb has sounded the alarm about a 'high intensity' conflict developing within the country's 'strategic environment'

'China is an aggressive, autocratic communist power,' Professor Dibb told ABC.

'According to Xi Jinping, the time is now on the side of the People's Republic of China to revenge the century of humiliation in the 19th century, and to take over as the leading power in our region from the United States.' 

Professor Dibb warned that if a conflict broke out Australia would be dragged into it to support the United States - or risk destroying the ANZUS alliance. 

Professor Dibb is the former director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation and former deputy secretary for strategy and intelligence in the Department of Defence.

He was the primary author of the 1997 Defence White Paper, a forerunner to the defence review announced this week by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, to be headed by Professor Stephen Smith and former chief of the Australian Defence Force, Angus Houston.

He said Australia's best chances of deterring an invasion from the north would be to develop long-range missiles. 

'By long-range I don't mean just a couple of hundred kilometres, I mean thousands of kilometres, certainly at least 2,000,' he said.

Meanwhile, a former Australian army major general has warned China could attack US resources in a similar way to the infamous surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II.

Liberal Senator Jim Molan believes it's possible China could achieve its twofold objective of removing American influence from the western Pacific and bringing Taiwan into its control by attacking US resources in the region.

Professor Dibb warned that if a conflict broke out Australia would be dragged into it to support the United States - or risk destroying the ANZUS alliance

Chinese anti-aircraft batteries take part in military drills aimed at intimidating Taiwan

'Having removed America from the Western Pacific they say to Taiwan, well, Taiwan, what are you going to do now? Are you going to fight on without the Americans backing you up? Of course they're not,' Mr Molan told Sky News Australia.

He then went on to warn that Australia should be very careful about its commitment to the United States if such a scenario eventuated.

'Whatever it will be that war will be high technology, it will be sharp, it will be fast – and we won't have a clue that it's coming,' he said.

Earlier this week China declared it would conduct a massive set of war games around Taiwan beginning on August 2 and lasting until August 8.

The military drills blockade the island from the outside world and intrude into its territorial waters, and involve ground, air and sea forces carrying out live fire exercises in what is the largest threat to the territory's independence in decades.

The increased aggression from Beijing was sparked by US Speaker Nancy Pelosi - the third most senior politician in America - provocatively visiting the island on August 3.

A Chinese Xian H-6 bomber is pictured in the skies over the Taiwan Strait, amid huge military drills that will effectively blockade the island

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