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WW III: Australia Sails With US, South Korea, Japan In Western Pacific to Counter China

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Australia has sailed with America, South Korea and Japan in a western Pacific naval exercise as the US builds regional alliances to counter the rise of China.

The eight-ship fleet of more than 1500 sailors practised surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, live-fire exercises and joint manoeuvres in the waters off Guam, a US territory in Micronesia over the weekend.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said Exercise Pacific Vanguard had brought together four like-minded regional partners.

(L-R) HMAS Stuart, Korea's Chungmugong Yi Sunsin and Japan's Ashigara pictured on Tuesday September 8, before the start of Exercise Pacific Vanguard
(L-R) HMAS Stuart, Korea’s Chungmugong Yi Sunsin and Japan’s Ashigara pictured on Tuesday September 8, before the start of Exercise Pacific Vanguard
Regional alliances are building as the rise of China and its push into the Pacific alarms both Washington and the Indo-Pacific nations. Pictured: Chinese Communist Party members swear allegiance to China's ruling party on June 28 in Yunnan Province
Regional alliances are building as the rise of China and its push into the Pacific alarms both Washington and the Indo-Pacific nations. Pictured: Chinese Communist Party members swear allegiance to China’s ruling party on June 28 in Yunnan Province

‘The increasing complexity of our security environment highlights the importance of maintaining and growing our regional partnerships,’ Ms Reynolds said in a statement.

‘Ours is a strong community built on shared interests, and activities like Exercise Pacific Vanguard increase our ability to contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific.’

Australia sent Anzac-class frigates HMAS Stuart, and Arunta, capable of air defence, surveillance and undersea warfare.

Australian frigates HMAS Stuart and Arunta sail with warships from the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea in the western Pacific on Wednesday
Australian frigates HMAS Stuart and Arunta sail with warships from the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea in the western Pacific on Wednesday
Regional powers are training together, alarmed by China's increasingly aggressive stance in the Pacific. Pictured: joint naval manoevres on Wednesday near Guam
Regional powers are training together, alarmed by China’s increasingly aggressive stance in the Pacific. Pictured: joint naval manoevres on Wednesday near Guam
Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews troops from a car during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing
Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews troops from a car during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing
Activists burn a poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping in India in June. US Deputy Secretary of State said 'The Quad' could act as a bulwark against 'a potential challenge from China'
Activists burn a poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping in India in June. US Deputy Secretary of State said ‘The Quad’ could act as a bulwark against ‘a potential challenge from China’

Australian Maritime Task Group Commander Phillipa Hay said it was important to practice complex war-fighting skills with regional partners.

‘Pacific Vanguard is an invaluable opportunity to increase the Royal Australian Navy’s understanding and experience working with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy and United States Navy,’ Captain Hay said.

The exercise is part of Australia’s ongoing Regional Presence Deployment in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.

The US sent an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the USS Barry, which are capable of strategic land strikes with Tomahawk missiles and have powerful radar and anti-aircraft capabilities.

The US also sent a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine and fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) sent the JS Ise, a Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer and the JS Ashigara, an Atago-class guided missile destroyer.

Captain Kitagawa Keizo, Escort Division Two Commander of the JMSDF said Japan was committed to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

South Korea sent destroyers Chungmugong Yi Sunsin and Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong.

The military exercise comes as the US builds alliances to keep international shipping lanes free and to counter Chinese expansion in the South Pacific.

Government travel advice website Smartraveller (pictured) was updated on 7 July to warn Aussies they face the risk of arbitrary detention in China
Government travel advice website Smartraveller (pictured) was updated on 7 July to warn Aussies they face the risk of arbitrary detention in China
China is responsible for 48.8 per cent of Australia's export and the international body could reduce the national reliance on the communist body for trade. Pictured: A Chinese Navy member stands in front of a Shandong aircraft carrier
China is responsible for 48.8 per cent of Australia’s export and the international body could reduce the national reliance on the communist body for trade. Pictured: A Chinese Navy member stands in front of a Shandong aircraft carrier

Australia is also considering joining a regional trade alliance with India, Japan, and the US dubbed ‘The Quad’ which has the potential to reduce reliance on trade with China,as tensions between Canberra and Beijing reach new heights.

US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun has proposed the four-country grouping as a way of filling a trade power vacuum in the Indo-Pacific region.

He added Washington could eventually invite South Korea, Vietnam and New Zealand to join the alliance.

If Australia were to join the trade group it could lead to further souring in diplomatic relations with China, which has worsened since Scott Morrison’s proposal for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid a continuing war of words over Mr Morrison’s strengthening of Australia’s relationship with the US, the communist country has imposed harsh tariffs on Australian farmers – including an 80 per cent tax on barley.

Australia could join a trade organisation called 'The Quad' with the US, Japan and India following a proposal by the US government
Australia could join a trade organisation called ‘The Quad’ with the US, Japan and India following a proposal by the US government

Mr Biegun specifically named China as he laid out plans for ‘The Quad’ in a speech on August 31.

He said the group could act as a bulwark against ‘a potential challenge from China’ and resemble the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

‘The Indo-Pacific region is actually lacking in strong multilateral structures,’ Mr Biegun said.

‘They don’t have anything of the fortitude of Nato or the European Union.

‘The strongest institutions in Asia oftentimes are not inclusive enough and so … there is certainly an invitation there at some point to formalise a structure like this.’

China is Australia’s largest trade partner in terms of both imports and exports.

Figures released in August showed China’s share of Australian exports had reached 48.8 per cent – an all-time high – at a cost of $14.6billion.

NGstudents Team Cares….. 

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