Beijing slams Australian defence plans

China has slammed plans by the Australian federal government to spend billions of extra dollars into defence over the next decade, urging Australia to abandon its “cold war mentality”.

This comes after the defence minister, Richard Marles, unveiled the new national defence strategy, which will increase funding to 2.4% of GDP by 2033/34.

Responding to the strategy, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Lin Jian, said: “We hope Australia will correctly view China’s development and strategic intentions, abandon the cold war mentality, do more things to keep the region peaceful and stable, and stop buzzing about China”.

Marles quoted the strategy, which states China has employed “coercive tactics in pursuit of its strategic objectives”

But Lin said the security risks in the Indo-Pacific were coming from “major countries” outside the region: “They have been forming exclusive groupings, stoking bloc confrontation, and in particular, muddying the waters in the South China Sea, as if the world needed any more instability. China firmly opposes it”.