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Australian general warns of “high probability” of conflict with China: report

Australia’s top military general told forces last year that as the country seeks to prevent a war with China, there is a “high probability” that conflict could break out.

According to details of the briefing shared by multiple sources with The Sydney Morning Herald,, Major General Adam Findley said at a private briefing in April 2020 with a group of Australian Special Forces soldiers that Beijing had already been involved in the gray zone war, including cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns.

Findley went on to say that the attacks were “likely”

; to escalate into a potential war with Australia’s largest trading partner, the newspaper said, citing sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

During the briefing, the then Special Forces Commander, who withdrew but was still advising the Australian Defense Forces, asked his troops and officers, “Who do you think is in charge? [regional] is the threat? “Then he said, ‘China.’

“Okay, so if China is a threat, how many special forces brigades in China?” You should know that there are 26,000 Chinese SOFs [Special Operations Forces] staff, ”Findley added, according to the Herald.

The general also told forces that if tensions with China escalate, the Australian military will have to use its own capabilities for cyber and space warfare, in addition to traditional air, land and naval assets.

Findley reportedly emphasizes the “need to make sure we don’t lose momentum … to return to the region” by strengthening Australia’s close ties with Indonesia and maintaining its presence in the region as China seeks to assert its own influence. .

The report comes amid continuing tensions in the Asia-Pacific region as Australia and the United States seek to limit China’s growing power, as well as its efforts to fully annex Taiwan, over which Beijing claims sovereignty.

Last month, Australian Defense Secretary Peter Dutton said Australia needed to be “realistic” about China’s military goals and that the possibility of a military conflict over Taiwan “You don’t have to give up.”

Most recently, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country will expand its war games with the US for a $ 580 million effort for they pursue “peace, stability and a free and open Indo-Pacific Ocean, with a world order that favors freedom.”

As part of the plans, the Australian government will renovate four military bases in the Northern Territory, which should be completed by 2026.

Approximately 2,500 US Marines are based in the Northern Territory, and the United States and Australia are already conducting two-year joint military exercises.

The Hill approached the Pentagon for comment on the Herald report.

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