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China nuclear war threat: Australia has ‘no idea how dangerous situation has become’

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Hugh White, professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, has warned about the serious consequences that could arise if tensions keep escalating between Australia and China. His view echoes that of officials in the Scott Morrison government who have increasingly warned of war. And, Professor White has warned that such a prospect could prove to be a nuclear engagement.

Speaking in Australia’s The Saturday Paper Professor White said: “Now our government has begun, with disconcerting nonchalance, to talk of war.

“And yet our government seems to have no idea how serious, and dangerous, our situation has become, and has no viable plan to fix it.

“This must count as one of the biggest failures of statecraft in Australia’s history.”

Professor White authored Australia’s Defence White Paper 2000 and is also the author of How to Defend Australia.

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He now believes China’s growing power and assertiveness could force opposing regions into “the biggest war the world has seen since 1945”.

He said this has placed Australia in an unwinnable position.

He warned: “It would be a war the US and its allies would have no clear chance of winning.

“Indeed, it is not even clear what winning a war with a country such as China means.

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“And it would very likely become a nuclear war.”

The academic said China’s inevitable rise to become a super-power needs to be accepted.

He stated there is now “a new order in Asia” that Australians need to accept.

This “new order” includes the rise of India and Indonesia.

“Australia must conceive a new relationship with China.

“A relationship that takes account of this reality and works to balance and protect the full range of our interests.

“This would require hard work, deep thought, and subtle execution.

“It would mean a revolution in our foreign policy.”

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