Dutton, who was Minister of Defense during Scott Morrinson´s government said that the concern among the Australian political class is based on the military power, rapid economic growth and progressive advance of China.
That is the “biggest problem ourt country will face in its lifetime”, Dutton said according to media reports.
Although China is a key trade and investment partner for Australia, Canberra has sought an alliance with the U.S. to counter Beijing´s development, analysts explained.
Earlier, Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, promised to take a more proactive role in the region and announced a comprehensive plan for Pacific island nations that includes a defense training school and support for maritime security, among other issues.
Experts see the Australian project as a desperate response to the agreement signed in April between China and Solomon Island, on which Beijing assured that it complies with the interests of that Pacific nation.